Loretta Baldassar

Professor Anthropology and Sociology

University of Western Australia




Professor Loretta Baldassar

Anthropology and Sociology, University of Western Australia

Loretta Baldassar is Professor in the Discipline Group of Anthropology and Sociology at The University of Western Australia and Director of the UWA Social Care and Ageing (SAGE) Living Lab. Her research and teaching areas include migration, transnational families, ageing across the lifecourse, and Australian society. Loretta is Vice President of the International Sociological Association, Migration Research Committee (31) and a Regional Editor for the leading journal Global Networks. Her SAGE research team has expertise in social inclusion and marginalised communities, with particular interest in digital citizenship and social technology development and co-design methodologies. The SAGE team collaborates on projects, consultancies and evaluations with government, service providers and community groups. Professor Baldassar has successfully supported 5 international postdoctoral Fellowships, supervised over 30 doctoral students, 25 honours students, and several student internships.

In 2020, Professor Baldassar was named one of the top 30 Australian researchers in the Social Sciences, and Research Field Leader in Human Migration (The Australian, 23 September 2020). In 2021, Professor Baldassar was again named Research Field Leader in Human Migration (Social Sciences), as well as in Ethnic and Cultural Studies (Humanities, Arts and Literature) (The Australian, 8 December 2021). Topping the list in both of these fields is an exceptional achievement, and a well-deserved recognition of her world class research. 

A copy of my latest CV can be found here


P: +61 8 6488 7232

E: loretta.baldassar@uwa.edu.au

Anthropology and Sociology
The University of Western Australia (M257)
35 Stirling Highway

Room 2.26, Social Sciences Building, Perth campus

* Director, UWA Social Care and Ageing (SAGE) Living Lab

* Editorial Board Member, Regional Editor Australasia, Journal Global Networks

* Board Member, Research Committee Migration, International Sociological Assoc

2017-2018 Deputy Head of School Social Sciences, Community Engagement

2014-2016 Discipline Chair, Anthropology and Sociology, UWA

2012-2014 School Social Sciences, Research Coordinator, UWA

2009-2011 Director, Monash University Study Abroad Centre, Prato, Italy

2007–2009 co-convener Migration, Ethnicity and Multiculturalism Thematic Group of The Australian Sociological Association

2005–2009 Chair, Australasian Centre for Italian Studies

2007– Chair, UWA Press Board

2016 OLT Teaching Award: Program than enhances student learning – Intercultural learning at home
2015 Arts Teaching and Service Awards: Project that enhances learning – Intercultural learning at home
2014 Veneti Nel Mondo Service Award (for community engagement), Veneto Government, Italy
2014 Nomination for Undergraduate Best Unit Award – Applied and Professional Practice Unit
2013-14 Australian European University Institute Fellowship
2015 Nominated for Postgraduate Supervision Award, UWA
2007 Excellence in Postgraduate Supervision Award, UWA
2006 Shortlisted for NSW Regional and Community History Award for Baldassar & Pesman, From Paesani to Global Italians, UWA Press
2005 National Italian Australian Women’s Association, Community Service Award
2002 NSW Premier’s Literary Award for Baldassar, L. Visits Home, Melbourne Uni Press.

Cassamarca Australia Project – one of the largest philanthropic gifts to the Humanities in Australia. Since 2000, the Cassamarca Foundation in Treviso, Italy, has invested more than $28.5 million to fund Italian Studies lectureships at nine Australian Universities.

The Cassamarca Foundation in Treviso, Italy is a private Foundation that funds cultural initiatives in Italian research worldwide. Loretta Baldassar first met the president of the Foundation, Avvocato Dino De Poli, while doing field research in Treviso for her doctoral thesis in 1990. Both Loretta’s research focus on Italian migration and her ethnic background as a second generation Italian migrant meant that she was well placed to advise Avvocato De Poli about the state of Italian Studies in Australia. The Cassmarca Australia Project developed to become one of the largest philanthropic gifts to the Humanities in Australian universities. It includes 13 full-time lectureships, annual student travel bursaries to study in Italy and funding to support the Australasian Centre for Italian studies including biennial conferences. The lectureships alone represent an increase by about 20% of academic staff in Italian studies Australia wide. UWA is the financial and legal administrative body for the Cassamarca lectureships. This position not only brings investment dollars into the university but also provides it with an opportunity to play an important role in serving Italian Studies and the Italian community throughout Australia. Departments at UWA successfully applied for three Cassamarca lectureships. One of these is a language and literature position in the Italian program, one is a joint department of History and Anthropology appointment in Italian migration studies, the only position of its kind in Australia and the third is an Associate Professorship in Classics. The other Australian universities with Cassamarca Lectureships include Swinburne University, the University of Melbourne, the University of Sydney, the University of the Sunshine Coast, Flinders University, Monash University, Griffith University, and the University of South Australia.



Book Authored – research




Baldassar, L., Baldock, C., & Wilding, R. (2007) Families Caring Across Borders: Migration, Aging and Transnational Caregiving. London: Palgrave MacMillan.

A moving ethnographic account of the transnational caregiving experiences and practices of migrants and refugees who live in Australia, with their parents in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and New Zealand. This timely work contributes rich detailed knowledge of how people respond to a world characterised by unprecedented mobility (both voluntary and forced), globalised job markets and an ageing population, as increasing numbers of families find themselves spread across the globe and caring for their elderly parents from a distance.



Baldassar, L. & Pesman, R. (2005) From Paesani to Global Italians: Veneto Migrants in Australia. Crawley, University of Western Australia Press. [Italian translation published (2004) I Veneti in Australia: sfide di storia contemporanea. Padua: ANEA].
Nominated for the Victorian Premier’s Regional History Award.

From Paesani to Global Italians is a study of the migration history and experiences of migrants from the Veneto region in the north-east of Italy.As the Veneto, which includes the province of Venice, is today one of the most affluent regions in Italy, this book provides a contrast to the rather more well-known story of southern Italian migration.Migration from the Veneto to Australia began in the late 1800s, although the bulk of the migrants arrived immediately after the Second World War. Most northern Italian migrants to Australia come from this region.The authors explore the contribution made by this group of migrants to their new homeland, their settlement experiences and their continuing connections with their ancestral homes.They also touch on the future of ethnic groups and the crisis in aged care for people of non–English speaking backgrounds.The text is enlivened by life histories, character portraits and quotations.

Baldassar, L. (2001) Visits Home: migration experiences between Italy and Australia. Melbourne: Melbourne University Press.
Winner of the 2001 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award, Community Relations Section.

Emigration is often perceived as a one-way journey — leaving one’s homeland and arriving in, and adjusting to, a new country. In fact, it can be a much more complex and long-drawn-out process than this. The small village of San Fior lies in northeastern Italy. Between 1900 and 1997, more than 200 of its residents emigrated to Perth, forming a closely linked Italian-Australian community. Many of them, and their Australian-born children and grandchildren, have since made “visits home.” This book explores the effect of these visits, both on those who left San Fior and those who stayed there.



Edited Books

Baldassar, L., Bressan, M., Johanson, G & McAuliffe, N. (eds) (2015) Chinese Migration to Europe: Prato, Italy and Beyond. Palgrave MacMillan.   

Through an analysis of Chinese migration to Europe, this volume examines the most pressing migration and integration issues facing many societies today: from the political and policy challenges of managing increasingly diverse communities to the individual lived experiences of identity and belonging. In addition to chapters on the UK, France and Italy, the book spotlights one of the most extraordinary places of Chinese migration in Europe right now: the city of Prato, just 20km from Florence in Tuscany, Italy. Renowned for its historic textile industry, Prato is now home to one of the largest populations of Chinese residents in Europe, a phenomenon that is remarkable not only for its magnitude, but also for the speed with which it has developed. This edited collection involving 27 contributors deepens our understanding of the case of Prato within the context of Chinese migration to the new Europe.

Guercini, S., Dei Ottati, G., Baldassar, L., Johanson, G. (eds.) (2017) Native and Immigrant Entrepreneurship: Lessons for Local Liabilities in Globalization from the Prato Case Study. Springer.

This book adopts a multidisciplinary approach to the issue of “local liabilities”, drawing on close analysis of the case of Chinese migrants and the Italian industrial district of Prato in order to elucidate the problems, or liabilities, that derive from the separation between natives and immigrants in local systems of people and firms. Insights are offered from a variety of disciplines, including business and industrial economics, anthropology, and sociology, thereby providing a framework through which to view the problems and also identifying potential pathways for their evolution and resolution. The focus on local liabilities affords an original perspective on the nature of globalization and highlights salient aspects of native and immigrant entrepreneurship. Globalization not only creates “bridges” between distant places but also changes the face of businesses and socioeconomic systems at the local level, where local liabilities may emerge when two or more separate communities (of persons and firms) exist. The greater the separation between the communities, the greater the local liabilities. In offering diverse perspectives on this relatively neglected aspect of globalization, the book will be of interest to a wide readership.

Refugee Protection and the Role of Law: Conflicting Identities (Hardback) book cover
Kneebone, S., Stevens, D., & Baldassar, L. (eds) (2014) Refugee Protection and the Role of Law: Conflicting Identities. Routledge.

Sixty years on from the signing of the Refugee Convention, forced migration and refugee movements continue to raise global concerns for hosting states and regions, for countries of origin, for humanitarian organisations on the ground and, of course, for the refugee. This edited volume is framed around two themes which go to the core of contemporary ‘refugeehood’: protection and identity. It analyses how the issue of refugee identity is shaped by and responds to the legal regime of refugee protection in contemporary times. The book investigates the premise that there is a narrowing of protection space in many countries and many highly visible incidents of refoulement. It argues that ‘protection’, which is a core focus of the Refugee Convention, appears to be under threat, as there are many gaps and inconsistencies in practice. Contributors to the volume, who include Erika Feller, Elspeth Guild, Hélène Lambert and Roger Zetter, look at the relevant issues from the perspective of a number of different disciplines including law, politics, sociology and anthropology. The chapters examine the link between identity and protection as a basis for understanding how the Refugee Convention has been and is being applied in policy and practice. The situation in a number of jurisdictions and regions in Europe, North America, South-East Asia, Africa and the Middle East is explored in order to ask the question: does jurisprudence under the Refugee Convention need better coordination and how successful is oversight of the Convention?

Transnational Families, Migration and the Circulation of Care: Understanding Mobility and Absence in Family Life (Hardback) book coverBaldassar, L & Merla, L. (eds) (2014) Transnational Families, Migration and the Circulation of Care: understanding mobility and absence in family life. Routledge Transnationalism Series. Paperback edition published in 2016.

Without denying the difficulties that confront migrants and their distant kin, this volume highlights the agency of family members in transnational processes of care, in an effort to acknowledge the transnational family as an increasingly common family form and to question the predominantly negative conceptualisations of this type of family. It re-conceptualises transnational care as a set of activities that circulates between home and host countries – across generations – and fluctuates over the life course, going beyond a focus on mother-child relationships to include multidirectional exchanges across generations and between genders. It highlights, in particular, how the sense of belonging in transnational families is sustained by the reciprocal, though uneven, exchange of caregiving, which binds members together in intergenerational networks of reciprocity and obligation, love and trust that are simultaneously fraught with tension, contest and relations of unequal power. The chapters that make up this volume cover a rich array of ethnographic case studies including analyses of transnational families who circulate care between developing nations in Africa, Latin America and Asia to wealthier nations in North America, Europe and Australia. There are also examples of intra- and extra- European, Australian and North American migration, which involve the mobility of both the unskilled and working class as well as the skilled middle and aspirational classes.

Baldassar, L & Gabaccia, D. (eds) (2011) Intimacy and Italian Migration Gender and Domestic Lives in a Mobile World, New York: Fordham University Press.

This provocative collection of essays adds a new dimension to our understanding of nation-building through its examination of the role of intimate cultural processes. First, by exploring the private lives of migrants from Italy through biography, oral history, and ethnography, these essays suggest why and how-across cultures-Italianness has come to be associated with a particular kind of femininity and supposedly distinctive elements of domestic life symbolized by long-held stereotypes of the Italian mother. On a larger scale, while the editors and contributors share with previous works on the Italian diaspora a keen interest in the imagining of nations across national borders, here they refocus our attention to the significance of the domestic, particularly the lives of individual men and women, their families, and the communities they loved and left behind.


Book chapters
Baldassar, L (2017) Transnational migration, families and identities: Australian perspectives in Boese, M & Marotta, V (eds) Critical reflections on Migration, ‘Race’ and Multiculturalism: Australia in a global context, Routledge
Baldassar, L., Kilkey, M., Merla, L. & Wilding, R. (2017), Transnational families, care and wellbeing, Handbook of Migration and Health, Eldward Elgar Publishing
Baldassar, L (2017) ‘Transformations in Transnational Ageing: A Century of Caring among Italians in Australia’ in ‘Parin Dossa & Catie Coe (eds) Transnational Aging and Kin-Work Rutgers University Press, Series on Global Perspectives on Aging.
Baldassar, L (2017) ‘Who Cares? The Unintended Consequences of Policy for Migrant Families’ In Tittensor, D & Fethi, M (eds) Women and Migration in the Global South. Palgrave
Baldassar, L (2016) ‘Mobilities and Communication Technologies: Transforming Care in Family Life’ in Kilkey, M. & Palenga-Moolenbeck, E. (eds) Family Live in an Age of Migration and Mobility: Global Perspectives through the Life Course. London: Palgrave Macmillan. Pp19-42
Journal Special Issue, guest editor
Baldassar, L., Wilding, R., & Boccagni, P., (forthcoming, 2017) Ageing in Place in a mobile world: new media and older people’s support networks. Special Issue by invitation, Transnational Social Review. A Social Work Journal
Nare, L., Walsh, K., & Baldassar, L., (forthcoming 2017) Ageing in Transnational Contexts: Transforming Everyday Practices and Identities in Later Life” Special Issue of Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power.
Baldassar, L; Nedelcu, M, Merla, L & Wilding R, (2016) Migration and New Media: ‘being together’ and ‘co-presence’ in transnational family life. Special Issue Journal of Global Networks. 16(2) 131-256
Baldassar, L. & Boccagni, P (2015) ‘Moving Feelings: Emotions and the Process of Migration’, Special Issue Emotions, Space and Society Vol 16:1-146. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/17554586/16
Merla, L. & Baldassar, L. (2010) ‘Transnational care dynamics: between emotions and rationality’/‘Les dynamiques de soin transnationales : entre émotions et considérations économiques’. Special issue of Journal Recherches sociologiques et anthropologiques: Vol XLI, No. 1.
Skrbis, Z., Baldassar, L., & Poynting, S. (2007) ‘Social sciences and the question of generations’ in Negotiating Belonging: Migration and Generations, Special Issue of Journal of Intercultural Studies. 28(3): 261-269.
Harney, N & Baldassar, L. (2007) ‘Tracking Transnationalism: migrancy and its futures’, Special Issue of Journal of Migration Studies, 33(2): 189-198.
Harney, N & Baldassar, L. (2006) ‘Italian Diasporas Share the Neighbourhood’, Special Issue of Journal of Modern Italy, 11(1).
Baldassar, L. (1999) National and Cultural Identities, Special Issue of The Australian Journal of Social Issues, 34(4):291-299.
Journal Articles – refereed in scholarly journal
Sala, E., & Baldassar, L (2017) “Leaving Family to Return to Family: Roots Migration Among Second Generation Italian-Australians” Ethos: Journal of the Society for Psychological Anthropology
Baldassar, L & Raffaetà, R. (2017) “It’s Complicated, isn’t it? Citizenship and Ethnic Identity in a Mobile World” Ethnicities Journal DOI: 10.1177/1468796816684148
Baldassar, L., Pyke, J., & Ben Mosche, D., (2017) ‘The Vietnamese Diaspora in Australia: Intra-group tensions, transnational ties and ‘victim’ status’ in Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies
Baldassar, L., Ferrero, L. & Portis, L. (2017) “More like a daughter than an employee”: the kinning process between paid carers and their elderly employers. Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power.
McKenzie, L & Baldassar, L (2016). ‘Missing friendships: Absent local–international student ties at an Australian university’, Higher Education. DOI: 10.1007/s10734-016-0073-1
McKenzie, L., & Baldassar, L (2016) Studying Internationalization on Campus: Lessons from an Undergraduate Qualitative Research Project. Sage Research Methods Cases Education.
Baldassar, L & McKenzie, L (2016) Beyond “Just Being There”: Teaching Internationalization at Home in Two Qualitative Methods Units Journal of Teaching Sociology, 44(2):84-95
Baldassar, L. (2016) ‘De-demonising distance in mobile family lives: co-presence, care circulation and polymedia as vibrant matter’ Global Networks, 16: 145–163.


Professor Baldassar has four current intersecting areas of research progress and development: transnational families, ageing across the life course, youth mobilities, and internationalization at home. What connects these research areas is a focus on social care, family and community relations, culture and linguistic diversity, and the role of new technologies in supporting wellbeing. Professor Baldassar is also a leading scholar in Italian migration studies.


Transnational Families

Professor Baldassar’s PhD pioneered the transnational approach in Australian migration studies and formed the basis for her first book, Visits Home (2001), which won a prestigious NSW Premier’s Literary Award. Its contribution to scholarship was to critique the established view that migration ends with settlement by conceptualising visits home as part of an ongoing migration process. It was one of the first to employ a double-ended methodology comprising family relationships spanning home and host settings. This early work formed the basis of the ARC Large Grant, Transnational Caregiving (2000-2004), led by Baldassar and Professor Cora Baldock (Murdoch) and which was among the first studies to document the specifics of family life across distance. The major book output, Families Caring across Borders (2007), frequently cited as foundational to the transnational families field, introduced the concept of ‘transnational caregiving’. Its findings reveal how communication technologies can increase family and community migration networks, which were severely truncated in the past, including through the participation of younger generations. These projects informed the ARC Linkage, Italian Lives (2004-9), led by Baldassar, which examined the settlement, integration and transnational ties of a century of Italian migration to Australia across the generations and produced a web resource. Elements of these former projects were expanded in the ARC Linkage, Australian Diasporas(2008-11), which examined the economic, social and political factors that facilitate diaspora formation that have flow-on benefits for Australia. The book, Transnational Families, Migration and the Circulation of Care (2014) further builds on this work by introducing the concept of care circulation, an important extension to the care chains thesis and informed the Ageing and New Media ARC project.

The ARC Discovery Project  Ageing and New Media (2016-2020), led by Professor Loretta Baldassar (UWA) and Associate Professor Raelene Wilding (La Trobe), examined how support networks for older people are affected by their mobility and the dispersal of their family, friends and care services. The project highlights the current and potential role that new media plays in fostering local, distant and virtual support networks of older Australians. Access to social networks and a capacity to belong and engage with other people is now understood as a significant indicator of healthy ageing. Importantly, the increasing uptake of new communication technologies means that social activities, social interactions and a sense of belonging are no longer limited to local, proximate networks and communities. From this research, Baldassar and Wilding have introduced the notions of digital kinning and digital homing to better understand the role of new technologies in supporting ageing, safeguarding social and cultural identity and facilitating social care. Two international postdoctoral Fellows: Dr Rosa Brandhorst (German Research Foundation) and Dr Lukasz Krzyzowski (Polish Research Foundation) were affiliated with this project, along with two ongoing UWA PhD projects: Cheng Yen Loo (Chinese Speaking older migrants) and Thi Hien Nguyen (Vietnamese older parent migrants and visitors). The Ageing and New Media project provided the foundation and inspiration for the establishment of the UWA Social Care and Ageing (SAGE) Living Lab and its focus on ageing across the life course.


Ageing across the life course:

Professor Baldassar recently established the UWA Social Care and Ageing (SAGE) Living Lab. The SAGE lab drives much needed innovation and policy development in the aged care and disability sectors. The key concepts of Social Care and Social Ageing highlight the critical importance of support networks, sense of belonging, and social connectivity to the wellbeing of individuals and communities; dimensions of care that are often under-developed in dominant medical approaches and under-resourced in current funding models. Through research-led, co-design collaboration, evaluation and consultancies, the UWA SAGE Living Lab facilitates partnerships with industry and government stakeholders and builds capacity in research and training. The UWA Living Lab has particular expertise in ageing across the lifecourse and diversity issues, including migration, cultural and linguistic diversity, LGBTQI as well as formal, informal, professional, local, distant and virtual support networks.


Youth Mobilities

This is an Australian Research Council funded project led by Professor Anita Harris (Deakin), Professor Loretta Baldassar (UWA) and Associate Professor Shanthi Robertson (Western Sydney). The project explores the experiences of transnational mobility amongst young people moving into and out of Australia in order to understand its real-life effects on their economic opportunities, social and family ties, citizenship and transitions to adulthood. It involves a mixed-methods longitudinal study of 2000 young people aged 18-30. Several PhD projects are affiliated with the Youth Mobilities Project, including two at UWA: Giulia Marchetti (Italian youth mobilites) and Johanne Eldridge (UK and African youth mobilities).


Internationalisation at Home:

Professor Baldassar has been developing student-led research/teaching opportunities in the area of Internationalisation at Home, building on her experience as the Director of the Monash University Study Abroad Centre in Italy.  University international student programs are commonly understood to foster intercultural learning, transforming students into global citizens with cross-cultural competencies. Similar benefits are anticipated from Internationalisation at Home (IaH), where the presence of international students on campus enriches the lives of domestic students. IaH makes intercultural learning and global citizenship outcomes available to all students. However, it is often assumed that these outcomes will occur as a consequence of ‘just being there’. In practice, domestic and international students often inhabit quite separate worlds, with few opportunities for engagement. Facilitating student engagement and improving students’ experiences on campus is of growing concern across the sector, with best practice literature indicating that structured engagement activities deliver internationalisation outcomes more effectively.

YMAP: Youth Mobilities, Aspirations and Pathways Projects - Current ARC Discovery Project

Loretta Baldassar, Anita Harris (Research Professor in the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation at Deakin University, Melbourne) and Shanthi Robertson (Senior Research Fellow in migration studies and globalization at the Institute of Culture and Society at Western Sydney University) are the chief investigators on the YMAP Project, funded by the Australian Research Council (2017-2022).

The project examines transnational mobility amongst young people moving both in and out of Australia in order to understand its real-life effects on their economic opportunities, social and family ties, citizenship and transitions to adulthood.

Young people increasingly migrate abroad for work and education and Australia is a significant hub for sending and receiving. Much of this mobility is encouraged by current migration and education policies and is expected to provide youth with enhanced competitive skills. This project examines transnational mobility amongst young people moving both in and out of Australia in order to understand its actual effects on their economic opportunities, social and familial ties, capacity for citizenship and transitions to adulthood. It charts how youth from various cultural backgrounds productively manage mobility and develop economic, social and civic benefits – for themselves and the broader community.

The project involves a five-year longitudinal study of 2000 young people aged 18-30 of Indian, Chinese, Italian and British ancestry, including both Australian citizens/permanent residents who have left Australia for 6+ months, and overseas citizens/permanent residents who have entered Australia for 6+ months.

For more information on the project click here

Ageing and Media - Current ARC Discovery Project

Gabriella Brand, Depth of Field: Exploring Ageing ©

Ageing and New Media is a collaborative research project that examines how support networks for older people are affected by their mobility and the dispersal of their family, friends and care services.

Co-ordinated by Loretta Baldassar (Anthropology and Sociology, The University of Western Australia) and Raelene Wilding (Sociology, Social Inquiry, La Trobe University), this three-year project is funded by the Australian Research Council (2015-2018).

Our aim is to highlight the current and potential role that new media can play in fostering local, distant and virtual support networks of older Australians. This will help to update both aged care policy and service delivery. The research includes a survey of the sector as well as participant observation, ethnographic life history interviews, and network analysis to compare experiences of diverse older migrants and non-migrants in both urban and regional locations, at home and in institutional care.

We aim to:

  1. Examine the impact of mobility and migration on the dispersal of older people’s support networks
  2. Evaluate the current and potential role of new media in fostering new and existing networks; and
  3. Extend theoretical, policy and practice understandings of healthy ‘ageing in place’ by introducing what we call a ‘mobilities and new media’ perspective.

Access to social networks and a capacity to belong and engage with other people is now understood as a significant indicator of healthy ageing. Importantly, the increasing uptake of new communication technologies means that social activities, social interactions and a sense of belonging are no longer limited to local, proximate networks and communities. What remains unknown, and will be addressed by this project, is the role of distant and virtual support networks in the lives of older Australians, and the potential and actual role of new media in older people’s experiences and uses of effective support networks.


Project Research Associates: 

SalaRosa Marie Brandhorst will be a postdoctoral Visiting Fellow in the Discipline Group of Anthropology and Sociology from September 2017 to September 2019. She will participate in the project “Ageing and New Media”, analysing older Australians’ support networks. Her research project focuses on the impact of migration-, health- and aged care policies on transnational care. Dr Brandhorst holds an MA in Anthropology and a PhD in Sociology from the University of Göttingen, Germany. She conducted longitudinal ethnographic research on transnational families between Cuba and Germany and their role in the current socio-political transformations in Cuba. Dr Brandhorst lectured sociology of migration and qualitative methods of social research at the University of Vienna, at the University of Applied Sciences on Social Work Bielefeld and at the University of Göttingen. Furthermore she was a Visiting Lecturer at the Centre of Economic and Social Analysis of the PUC-RS University Porto Alegre. As a researcher she worked in the research project of the University of Göttingen and the University Fort Lauderdale on ethnic and collective belongings of different migration groupings and in a research collaboration of the University College London and the University of Victoria on the Cuban diaspora. Dr Brandhorst is specialised in narrative and narrative biographical interview techniques and in the case reconstruction according to Rosenthal. Her research encompasses migration, transnational families, care, ageing, ethnicity, Cuban Anthropology and qualitative research methodologies.

AdeleDr Adele Millard holds a PhD and a BA(Hons) in anthropology from The University of Western Australia, and an MBA from Deakin University. Her academic research includes studies into: culturally and linguistically diverse experiences of dementia care; intergenerational care and equity; and land, culture and identity. Adele is primarily an applied anthropologist with research in rural and remote Australia, particularly focussing on community engagement, regional development, Aboriginal heritage and Native Title. As a former journalist and broadcaster, she is Unit Coordinator and Lecturer in COMM1901 Communications in Practice to students in Hong Kong, and Tutor in COMM3001 Case Studies in Communications to students in Perth.

SalaEmanuela Sala is a Ph.D. candidate in the Discipline Group of Anthropology and Sociology at The University of Western Australia. Her research explores the role of family in constructions of ethnicity and connections to homeland among second generation Italian-Australians. She is also currently working as a Research Associate on an ARC Discovery project: Ageing and New Media.




CatCat Stevens is a PhD candidate and research assistant in the School of Social Sciences at the University of Western Australia. Her thesis, titled ‘Temporary jobs, permanent visas and circular dreams: trade skilled and unskilled migrants from China living in Perth’, addresses themes including employment, exploitation and precarity, citizenship, class, and temporalities of belonging. In addition to this Ageing and New Media research project she has worked as a research assistant on the WA Migration and Mobilities Update conference and as research project manager on an evaluation of a WA State government funding program. In 2017, she is coordinating an undergraduate unit, ANTH3801 Migration, Mobilities and Belonging, at UWA, and she has previously taught Chinese studies and language units at Murdoch university.


Shane Shane Worrell is a PhD candidate in sociology, and tutor at La Trobe University. His research explores the transnational familial communication of ethnic Karen humanitarian migrants who have resettled in regional Australia. A journalist who has spent several years covering human rights issues in Southeast Asia, Shane is also working as a research assistant for the ARC Discovery project: Ageing and New Media.



Past Events

2017 Ageing and New Media Symposium 1-2 December 2017, The University of Western Australia.

The Ageing and New Media Symposium will be held at The University of Western Australia, on Friday 1 and Saturday 2 December 2017. The symposium will be hosted by Prof Loretta Baldassar (UWA) and A/Prof Raelene Wilding (La Trobe University), with support from the UWA Worldwide Universities Network Research Collaboration Awards. The Ageing and New Media Symposium brings together researchers, practitioners, policymakers, and caregivers to showcase their innovative work in the field of ageing – especially caring across distance using new media, and among culturally and linguistically diverse peoples. Keynotes delivered by international collaborators will complement discussion between scholars, industry and community members to develop joint and complementary research opportunities.

Key Note Speakers include: 

  • Prof Gonzalo Bacigalupe (University of Massachusetts-Boston)
  • A/Prof Christa Lykke Christensen (University of Copenhagen)
  • Dr Mireia Fernández-Ardèvol (Open University of Catalonia)
  • A/Prof Elaine Ho (National University of Singapore)
  • Prof Jyotsna Kalavar (Pennsylvania State University)
  • A/Prof Leng Leng Thang, Family & Population Research and Head of Department of Japanese Studies, National University of Singapore
  • Prof Helen Manchester (Public Health, University of Bristol)
  • Dr Ivaylo Vassilev (Health Sciences, University of Southampton)
Internationalisation at Home

Alice Leggett 2017

ANTH4101 Student Research Project: Internationalisation at Home

Built-in as part of the formal curriculum in the 4th year Anthropology and Sociology Honours unit, ANTH4101 Advance Qualitative Methods: Interviews and Focus Groups, this project both develops initiatives that offer guided opportunities for local and international students to engage with each other, and allows students to collect data on international/local student interaction that contributes to their own personal research assignments and a broader research project. These objectives respond directly to the UWA Strategic Plan in improving the student experience, developing research and research training and the teaching/research nexus.

As part of their contribution to this research project, students produce a research report and poster based on their analysis of the data they collected. For a detailed look at these reports and posters go here

Vite Italiane and Italian migration studies

I have been conducting research on Italian migration to Australia for the past 3 decades. The ARC-funded Linkage project Vite Italiane ‘Italian Lives’ explores history of Italian migrants in Western Australia. Valuable resources and results of this research project can be accessed via this website while the latest updates on the project will be published here.

Transnational Families and Transnational Care

In 2000 I began an ARC funded project together with Professor Cora Baldock (Sociology, Murdoch University) and Dr Raelene Wilding (La Trobe) that examines the impact of transnational migration on care-giving relations between adult children and their parents. The specific question addressed in the study is the extent to which transnational migrants are able to give care and support to their geographically distant parents as they age. The study examines humanitarian, family reunion and business migrants and draws case study examples from migrants and their families in Singapore, Italy, the Netherlands, Ireland, New Zealand and refugees from Iraq and Afghanistan and their families in Iran.


Second Generation Studies

Inspecting the Javelin, Kings Park, Perth 1986 Photo by David Symonds.


I also conduct research on so-called ‘second generation’ migrants and consider issues of intergenerational conflict and the transmission of culture.

Australian Diaspora

In 2008 I joined an interdisciplinary research team to examine the ‘Australian Diaspora’ on an ARC Linkage Grant, with a particular focus on Italy-Australia relations, including the recent ‘new immigration’ and 457 working-holiday visa-entrants of young Italian professionals to Australia. This research built on my previous work on transnational family relationships, with a particular focus on the role of ICTs.



Professor Baldassar initiated migration studies in Anthropology when she became a staff member in 1995. Since then she has contributed to the development of this research and teaching into a core area of expertise at UWA through several initiatives. These include co-founding the Migration, Mobilities and Belonging MoB Network and the WA Migration Research Network (MRN), as well as the funding and appointment of a Cassamarca Lectureship in Italian migration studies.

Professor Baldassar has supervised 5 International Postdoctoral Fellows (funded by Marie Curie Fellowship; Polish Research Foundation; German Research Foundation; Australian Research Council; Forrest Foundation); 30 HDR students (10 current, 20 completions). In 2007 she was awarded a UWA Excellence in Postgraduate Supervision Award and was nominated for this award in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2020. She currently teaches ANTH4101, an advanced qualitative methods unit, linked to the Internatioanlisation at Home project and ANTH2801, Migrants, Refugees and Travellers: Mobility and Immobily in Transnational Lives.

Invited Key Note Addresses and Papers (last 5 years)
– 2013 Keynote ‘Mobilities as a new paradigm for understanding family life: issues and challenges’ Family Life in the Age of Migration and Mobility: Theory, Policy and Practice. Convenors: Prof. Helma Lutz, Dr Majella Kilkey & Dr Ewa Palenga-Möllenbeck, 16-20 September 2013 Norrköping, Sweden


– 2013 Invited Paper ‘British Migration to Australia’, Migration and Economic Crisis: Responses of Brits at home and abroad, WUN University and White Rose Collaboration Networks, Sheffield University, September 2013.

–  2013 Invited Paper, ‘Second Generation in Prato and Perth: the politics of recognising difference’, Migration and Multiculturalism: Lessons from Europe and Australia Conference ANU Centre for European Studies (ANUCES), Friday 8 March, 2013 Conveners: Jacqueline Lo and Stefan Markowski

–  2012 Invited Paper, Second generation Chinese in Italy, 3rd Wenzhouese Diaspora Workshop, University of Wenzhou, 17-18 October, Wenzhou, China.

–  2012 Keynote, European Science Foundation Exploratory Workshop, Rethinking Older Age: Transnational Migration, Home and Cultures of Care, Standing Committee for Social Sciences, Department of Social Research and Swedish School of Social Science, University of Helsinki. Co-sponsored by Academy of Finland Project ‘The Shaping of Occupational Subjectivities of Migrant Care Workers: A Multi-Sited Analysis of Glocalising Elderly Care’, August 23-34, Helsinki

–  2012 Invited Paper, Law in the Everyday Lives of Transnational Families, International Institute for the Sociology of Law, May 24-25, Onati, Spain.

–  2011, Keynote, International Workshop: The Everyday Life of Multi-Local Families Concepts, Methods and the Example of Post-Separation Families, German Youth Institute/ Deutsches Jugendinstitut, Munich, 20th-21st October, Germany.

–  2011, Keynote, Università degli Studi di Cassino, Dipartimento di Filologia e Storia Convegno: L’emigrazione italiana in 150 anni di storia unitaria (titolo provvisorio), 13-14 October, Cassino, Italy.

–  2011, Keynote, (Re-)Imagining ‘Return Migration’: Language, concepts and contexts, Sponsored by the Population Geography Research Group of the RGS-IBG. 1st CFP RGS-IBG Annual Conference, 31 August – 2 September, London.

–  2010, Keynote, ‘Transnational families, care-giving and the intergenerational contract’ International seminar, Transnationalism from below: Migrant families and intergenerational, ICS, University of Lisbon, 13th October, Portugal.

–  2010, Keynote, ‘Transnationalism and the Second Generation’, Diasporic and Transnational Youth Identities Seminar Series, University of Nottingham, 24 September, UK.

–  2010, Keynote, ‘Transnational Families and the Future of Transnational Care’, Changing Families in a Changing World, Centre for Research on Families and Relationships, John Macintyre Centre, University of Edinburgh, June 16-18, Scotland.

–  2010, Lectio Magistralis, ‘Transnational Families:Definizioni e metodolgie’, Scuola Estiva di Sociologia delle Migrazioni, Genova, June 14 – 18, Italy.

–  2010, Invited Paper, ‘Transnational Families and Care-Giving: six Study Areas’, 1st International Symposium on Wenzhouese Diasporas and the 3rd Chinese in Prato Workshop –“Diasporas Workshop: Setting a Research Agenda” Wenzhou University, 7 – 11 April, China.

–  2009, Invited Paper, ‘Longing for kin and country: family, nostalgia and nation through the practices and processes of long distance caregiving’, Love and its Histories: Italian Perspectives, Symposium Department of History, University of Otago and The Australasian Centre for Italian Studies, University of Otago’s Auckland Centre, February 17th, New Zealand.


University Courses


UWA Discipline of Anthropology and Sociology- ANTH4101 Advanced Qualitative Methods: Interviews and Focus Groups Honours Unit (4th year).

UWA Discipline of Anthropology and Sociology- SOCS5001 Engaging Cultural Difference Masters Unit

Current Students

Current PhD Students


Marc Schmidlin Thesis Topic- Transnational actors

Warrick Smith, Thesis Topic- Youth Identities in Yemen

Charmaine Lim, Thesis Topic-  Transnational Migration

Bonita Carroll, Thesis Topic- Gender and Workplace

Simone Marino, Thesis Topic- Italians in South Australia

Maria Franco, Thesis Topic- Second-generation Migrants

Catriona Stevens, Thesis Topic Chinese Migration in Perth

Cheng Loo Ageing, Thesis Topic- Migration and New Media

Lin Malone, Thesis Topic- Facebook and Youth Identities

Abi Tan, Thesis Topic- Chinese Migrants

Raisa Akifeva, Thesis Topic- Russian Migrants

Giulia Marchetti, Thesis Topic – Youth Mobilities


Current Masters by Research Students

Brittany Bro

Alice Leggett


Completed Students

 Completed PhD Students


Year Student Thesis
2017 PhD E. Sala Second Generation Italians
2017 PhD M. Mayer Cross-Cultural Families
2016 PhD A. Millard Business Anthropology
2015 PhD A. Paciocco Chinese youth in Prato
2016 PhD G. Able UK migrants in Perth
2015 PhD A. Bressan Italian migrants in Australia
2014 PhD M. van Zuilen Gender and crafts
2014 PhD D. Tanu Third Culture Kids
2012 PhD W. Loon Yeo School ethnography
2012 PhD S. Bennetts Italian folk traditions
2012 PhD Y. Shimoda Host-country transnationals
2011 PhD S. Torezani Latin American migrants
2009 PhD T. Hutchins Children’s migration
2009 PhD L. Povey Anglo-Indians in Perth
2009 PhD T. Soonsinpai Thai Students in Perth
2007 MA C. Malavaux Migrant Visas
2007 MA P. Slivkoff Molokans in Australia
2005 MA M. Ghosh South Asian Women
2005 PhD S. Summers Former Yugoslavia
2005 PhD M. Azariadis Turkey Secular / Religious
2005 PhD C. Pattenden Fly-in Fly-Out / Mining
2004 PhD L. Low New Age Religion
2002 PhD M. Forsey School Ethnography
2001 PhD J. Anderson Rural Australia
2000 PhD M. Yrke Mining
1999 PhD R. Wilding Weddings
1999 PhD N. Peters Ethnic entrepreneurs


Completed Masters students

2007 Masters. Ms Malavaux. Supervised by: Prof Baldassar, A/Prof Forsey

2007 Masters. Mrs Slivkoff. Supervised by: Prof Baldassar

2005 Masters. Dr. Ghosh. Supervised by: Prof Baldassar, Prof Burbank




Professor Baldassar has over 25 years of qualitative and mixed-method research expertise, including the lead coordination of four major Australian Research Council projects and several large national and international grants.

Professor Baldassar has experience leading large collaborative research projects and research consultancies funded by the Australia Research Council; Australian Academy of Social Sciences; Leverhulme Trust International Network; Commonwealth Department of Human Services; WA Department of Health; WA Department of Communities’ Healthways WA; Lotterywest; Office of Multicultural Interests WA; local councils in WA; and universities. Total Research grants income is over $4.5 million. She has been invited to keynote at over 50 national/international conferences.

Listed in Reverse Chronological Order
Professor Loretta Baldassar, Mrs Catriona Stevens, Ms Adele Millard, Associate Professor Farida Fozdar, Professor Paul Flatau 2017, ‘Evaluation of Age-friendly Communities Local Government Grants Program’, WA Department of Local Government and Communities.

Professor Anita Harris, Professor Loretta Baldassar, Dr Shanthi Robertson 2017, ‘Understanding the Effects of Transnational Mobility on Youth Transitions’, Deakin University ex ARC Discovery Projects.

Ms Ann Singleton, Dr Hong-Jae Park, Associate Professor Hakan Sicakkan, Ms Fatima Khan, Associate Professor Saskia Witteborn, Dr Gabriella Alberti, Professor Rene de Groot, Professor Andrew Geddes, Dr Nicola Piper, Professor Loretta Baldassar, Professor Ka Lin 2016, ‘Externally Led WUN – Migration, Development and Global Transformations (MDGT)’, Worldwide Universities Network WUN.

Associate Professor Eliza Wong, Dr Kathryn Peri, Professor Bettina Huseb, Dr Praveen Thokala, Professor Loretta Baldassar, Associate Professor Christopher Etherton-Beer 2016, ‘Externally Led WUN – Provision of health service and community care for the elderly: intergenerational role and equity’, Worldwide Universities Network WUN.

Professor Hengjin Dong, Dr Gary Cheung, Dr Sanetta Du Toit, Professor Loretta Baldassar 2016, ‘Externally Led WUN – Knowledge-Attitude-Practice (KAP) of caregivers in institutions of elder care in Zhejiang Province’, Worldwide Universities Network WUN.

Professor Loretta Baldassar, Dr Raelene Wilding, Associate Professor Christopher Etherton-Beer, Dr Judy Esmond, Associate Professor Joanna Elfving-Hwang, Dr Helen Manchester, Dr Ivalyo Vassilev, Professor Gonzalo Bacigalupe, Dr Sanetta Du Toit, Dr Majella Kilkey, Professor Hengjin Dong, Professor Cornelia Schweppe, Professor Paolo Boccagni, Dr Jyotsna Kalavar, Associate Professor Leng Thang, Associate Professor Elaine Ho 2016, ‘Ageing and New Media’, UWA Research Collaboration Awards.

Associate Professor Ana Deumert, Ms Kristine Horner, Professor Leonie Cornips, Professor Elspeth Probyn, Professor Loretta Baldassar, Dr Xiaodong Lin, Associate Professor Huamei Han, Senior Professor Christopher Stroud, Professor Alexandre Duchene, Dr Lisa Lim 2015, ‘Externally Led WUN – Understanding Globalisation – Margins and Peripheries’, Worldwide Universities Network WUN.

Professor Loretta Baldassar, Dr Raelene Wilding 2015, ‘Ageing and new media: A new analysis of older Australians’ support networks’, ARC Discovery Projects.

Associate Professor Robert Ian Cover, Associate Professor Farida Fozdar, Professor Loretta Baldassar, Associate Professor Joanna Elfving-Hwang 2014, ‘Community, Popular and Digital Media in Migrant Settlement, Integration and Resilience: Mobilities and Belonging’, UWA Research Collaboration Awards.

Dr Sanetta Du Toit, Dr Helen Buchanan, Dr Lesley Collier, Professor Jean Woo, Dr Kathryn Peri, Dr Gary Cheung, Professor Loretta Baldassar, Associate Professor Christopher Etherton-Beer, Professor Eileen Webb, Dr M Lovarini 2014, ‘Externally led WUN – Global initiative promoting meaningful engagement of persons ageing in supported living environments’, Worldwide Universities Network WUN.

Professor Loretta Baldassar, Associate Professor Farida Fozdar, Associate Professor Meng Ji, Dr Majella Kilkey, Dr Neil Lunt, Dr Laura Merla, Professor D Edwards, Dr Roberta Raffaeta, Dr Hariz Hallilovic, Dr Anita Harris, Dr Raelene Wilding, Dr Nonja Peters 2013, ‘Mobilities and belonging: Sustaining families and communities in transnational settings.’, UWA Research Collaboration Awards.

Professor Loretta Baldassar 2010, ‘Australian Diasporas & Brain Gain – Exploring Current & Potential Transnational Linkages’, Victoria University ex ARC Linkage.

Professor Loretta Baldassar 2003, ‘Anea Veneto Study’, ANEA (Italy).

Professor Loretta Baldassar, Professor Nicholas Harney, Winthrop Professor Richard Bosworth, Dr Susanna Iuliano, Ms Ann Delroy 2003, ‘Italians in Western Australia: A cultural history and archive of migrants and migration.’, ARC Linkage Projects.

Professor Loretta Baldassar, Dr Cheryl Lange 2003, ‘Forced Repatriation: Experiences And Implications For Asylum Seekers In Australia.’, UWA Research Grants Scheme.

Professor Loretta Baldassar, Dr Raelene Wilding, Ms Farida Tilbury 2003, ‘Migrant Contributions to Western Australia: An Edited Volume’, Office of Multicultural Interests, WA.

Professor Loretta Baldassar 2001, ‘Veneto Book Project’, Melbourne Italian-Australian Historical Society (CO.AS.IT).

Professor Loretta Baldassar, Prof C Baldock 1999, ‘Transitional care-giving: Cross cultural aged care practices between Australian immigrants and their parents living abroad’, ARC Early grants.

Professor Loretta Baldassar 1998, ‘VISITS HOME: Ethnicity, identity and place in the migration process. A comparative studyof north and south Italian-Australian migration’, ARC Small Grants.

Professor Loretta Baldassar, Dr C Lange 1996, ‘The utilisation of child and adolescent mental health services by Vietnamese, Italian and Anglo-Celtic Australian families in Perth’, ARC Small Grants.