Doctor Melissa Phillips

Doctor Melissa Phillips

Academic Program Advisor, Humanitarian and Development Studies,
Humanitarian & Development Studies

Lecturer in Humanitarian and Development Studies,
Humanitarian & Development Studies


Dr Melissa Phillips is Lecturer, Humanitarian and Development Studies in the School of Social Sciences. Her research interests include migration, mobility, displacement and refugee settlement including diasporas. Melissa has previously worked for the United Nations and for international non-government organisations in South Sudan, the Horn of Africa (Kenya and Ethiopia), Libya and the Middle East in protection of civilians and humanitarian coordination roles. She has also worked with asylum seekers in immigration detention in Australia, supported community-based asylum seekers in the UK, and managed a refugee resettlement project in Australia. Melissa is co-author of Becoming Australian: Migration, Settlement and Citizenship (with Brian Galligan and Martina Boese), MUP, Melbourne (2014) and has published widely in academic journals on refugee settlement, multiculturalism and transit migration. She is an Associate Editor for Journal of Intercultural Studies and is a Board member of the Australian Red Cross, a Regional Advisor for the International Detention Coalition and formerly an Advisory Board Member of ‘Urban Refugees’.

This information has been contributed by Doctor Phillips.


  • PhD University of Melbourne

Professional Memberships

  • The Australian Sociological Association (2009)


  • Diaspora Communities and Trans-nationalism
  • Humanitarian Aid
  • Migration Studies
  • Refugees and displaced persons

Organisational Unit (School / Division)

  • Humanitarian & Development Studies
  • Humanitarian & Development Studies


Location: P.G.45
Penrith (Kingswood)

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Previous Teaching Areas

  • 101897 Development for Equality, 2020
  • 102576 Global Health, Migration and Development, 2020
  • 102577 Humanitarian and Development Agendas and Progress, 2020



  • Galligan, B., Boese, M. and Phillips, M. (2014), 'Becoming Australian: Migration, Settlement, Citizenship', : Melbourne University Press 9780522866377.

Chapters in Books

  • Phillips, M. (2020), 'Responding to migrant workers : the case of Australia', State Responses to COVID-19: A Global Snapshot at 1 June 2020, Western Sydney University .
  • Phillips, M. and Heiduk, M. (2019), ''Europe is not worth dying for' : the dilemma facing Somalis in Europe', Roaming Africa: Migration, Resilience and Social Protection, Langaa Research and Publishing Common Initiative Group 9789956551019.
  • Boese, M. and Phillips, M. (2015), 'Multiculturalising at the interface of policy and practice', Cultural, Religious and Political Contestations: The Multicultural Challenge, Springer 9783319160023.
  • Phillips, M. (2013), 'Being South Sudanese in the diaspora : exploring the relationship between pre-migration, identity and labelling', South Sudanese Diaspora in Australia and New Zealand: Reconciling the Past with the Present, Cambridge Scholars Publishing 9781443847520.
  • Phillips, M. (2013), 'Migration and Australian foreign policy towards Africa : the place of Australia's African transnational communities', New Engagement: Contemporary Australian Foreign Policy towards Africa, Melbourne University Press 9780522862614.

Journal Articles

  • De Nardi, S. and Phillips, M. (2022), 'The plight of racialised minorities during a pandemic : migrants and refugees in Italy and Australia', Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, vol 41, no 1 , pp 98 - 111.
  • Phillips, M. (2020), 'Managing a multiplicity of interests : the case of irregular migration from Libya', Migration and Society, vol 3, no 1 , pp 89 - 97.
  • Missbach, A. and Phillips, M. (2020), 'Reconceptualizing transit states in an era of outsourcing, offshoring, and obfuscation', Migration and Society, vol 3, no 1 , pp 19 - 33.
  • Boese, M. and Phillips, M. (2017), ''Half of myself belongs to this town' : conditional belongings of temporary migrants in regional Australia', Migration, Mobility, and Displacement, vol 3, no 1 , pp 51 - 69.
  • Phillips, M. and Missbach, A. (2017), 'Economies of transit : exploiting migrants and refugees in Indonesia and Libya', International Journal of Migration and Border Studies, vol 3, no 2-3 , pp 139 - 157.
  • Phillips, M. and Missbach, A. (2017), 'Introduction to the Special Issue on Transit Migration: Renewing the Focus on a Global Phenomenon', International Journal of Migration and Border Studies, vol 3, no 2-3 , pp 113 - 120.
  • Boese, M. and Phillips, M. (2017), 'The role of local government in migrant and refugee settlement in regional and rural Australia', Australian Journal of Social Issues, vol 52, no 4 , pp 388 - 404.
  • Phillips, M. (2016), 'Refugees and migrants at sea : another view from the Middle East and North Africa region', Proceedings of the American Society of International Law, vol 110 , pp 169 - 173.
  • O'Brien, P. and Phillips, M. (2015), 'Health care justice for temporary migrant workers on 457 visas in Australia : a case study of internationally qualified nurses', Journal of Law and Medicine, vol 22, no 3 , pp 550 - 567.
  • Missbach, A. and Phillips, M. (2015), 'Die Okonomie des ausbeuterischen Transits Lebensbedingungen von Migrant*innen und Asylsuchenden in Indonesien und Libyen', Peripherie, vol 138/139, no 35 , pp 170 - 192.
  • Phillips, M. (2015), 'Conceptualizing 'people on the move' in the Horn of Africa and Yemen', Refugee Review, vol 2, no 1 , pp 193 - 194.
  • Phillips, M. and Starup, K. (2014), 'Protection challenges of mobility', Forced Migration Review, vol 47 , pp 27 - 30.
  • Phillips, M. (2013), 'Voices from inside Australia's detention centres', Forced Migration Review, vol 44 , pp 10 - 11.
  • Boese, M. and Phillips, M. (2011), 'Multiculturalism and social inclusion', Journal of Intercultural Studies, vol 32, no 2 , pp 189 - 197.
  • Phillips, M. (2011), 'Convenient labels, inaccurate representations : turning Southern Sudanese refugees into 'African-Australians'', Australasian Review of African Studies, vol 32, no 2 , pp 57 - 79.
  • Phillips, M. (2000), 'The impact of being detained on-shore : the plight of asylum-seekers in Australia', University of New South Wales Law Journal, vol 23, no 3 , pp 288 - 302.

Conference Papers

  • Boese, M. and Phillips, M. (2012), 'At the coal-face : experiencing multiculturalism in Australia', International Symposium on Multiculturalism, Deakin University.

Other Publications

  • 2021, 'Moving On: Exploring Onward Migration of Refugees and Migrants from East Africa', Report
  • 2020, 'Urban Mixed Migration: Nairobi Case Study', Report
  • 2020, 'COVID-19 Impacts on Immigration Detention: Global Responses', Report
  • 2018, 'Women and Wash in Nepal: Key Issues and Challenges', Report
  • 2018, 'Diaspora Responses in Times of Disaster and Other Crises: Outcomes Report', Report
  • 2016, 'Diaspora Humanitarianism: Findings of the Diaspora Emergency Action and Coordination Project', Report
  • 2016, 'Getting to Europe the 'WhatsApp' Way: The Use of ICT in Contemporary Mixed Migration Flows to Europe', Report
  • 2011, 'Living Hand to Mouth: Protection Funding and Coordination in South Sudan', Report

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