The Sudanese Online Research Association welcomes contributions of essays,
papers and projects about Sudan and the Sudanese Diaspora. The following headings
link to research papers that are published exclusively through the Sudanese
Online Research Association Online Library. If you require further details about
the authors please email.
All works submitted here are published with the author's informed
consent. The views in the articles are those of the author only.
On behalf of all of the authors we ask that you please acknowledge
their work if you choose to cite it elsewhere.
To contribute your own research to this library please go
ARTICLE: Caring and Profiting: the Legal Profession and Multiculturalism - Migration Action
This paper is based on research to assess the customer service protection afforded to visa applicants through quality assurance mechanisms put in place by legislation and the migration advice industry regulators. It especially focuses upon protection as it operates at the nexus of communication between clients and registered migration agents (RMA). The aim of the study was to identify common occurrences of misunderstanding by a migration agent or a client and to suggest ways that training of RMAs could avoid these misunderstandings. The research attempted to enunciate obligations that may fit within RMAs’ fiduciary role in relation to their clients. It recommends that, to some extent, the need for improved customer service could be remedied by reconciling clients’ needs within existing frameworks. However, there is scope to introduce new mechanisms to improve standards of service provided by RMAs. While this paper focuses primarily on RMAs, it is targeted towards the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA), the Migration Institute of Australia (MIA) and the Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs (DIMIA).
This paper is concerned with cross-cultural sensitivity as opposed to cross-cultural awareness. As some respondents to this research noted, it is almost impossible to live in Australia and be unaware of cultural difference. Behaving sensitively to difference is cultural sensitivity and should be the objective of cross-cultural communication especially in professional service spheres.
Almost always, clients of RMAs are unfamiliar with one or all the cultures of Australian law, society and language. For this reason, a broad definition of cross-cultural communication has been adopted. This study assumed that communication in all migration transactions is both verbal and non-verbal, understanding that 60% of communication occurs non-verbally.
The responses of RMAs in this study were illustrative of the types of changes and concerns held by practitioners in the industry. This research confirms findings of DIMIA’s 2001-02 Review of Statutory Self-Regulation of the Migration Advice Industry (the Review) that new strategies to combat poor practice and improve client satisfaction levels in the migration advice industry (MAI) are in dire need.
The research addresses the following three broad hypotheses. First, that RMAs should be culturally sensitive when communicating with their clients. Second, that RMAs should improve their awareness of and responses to the cross-cultural issues their clients face when they receive migration advice. Third, that awareness of cross-cultural sensitivity issues should be part of registering as a RMA within Australia.
What is at stake?
Visa applicants, the ‘MAI client group’, are fundamentally different to the majority of legal service clientele in Australia because they are situated outside the Australian polity. Thus, visa applicants have limited rights to legal protection. They may often be unaware of the scope of these rights or how to effectively exercise them. Limited English skills may also hamper visa applicant’s access to, and awareness of, good service. Consequently, the obligatory MAI-specific legal protection is often the only legal protection legislators can be sure that visa applicants will receive. Consequently, the MAI client group is highly dependent on government-endorsed, self-executing protection mechanisms. With limited legal and no political recourse, they are especially vulnerable to bad practice.
Need for this research
The need for this research arose out of my work with the Sudanese Australian Integrated Learning (SAIL) Program. Frequently, Sudanese migrants in Melbourne experience avoidable difficulties with their migration processes directly related to a lack of general awareness of and sensitivity to cultural differences. For example, Sudan is a multi-lingual region and Sudanese community members speak several different languages. However, it is frequently assumed in Australia there is a single ‘Sundanese’ language, and it is known that one DIMIA-funded agency had ‘Sudanese’ listed as a language option on their client database. An example of what may occur because of this lack of awareness is that on one occasion, a Sudanese, attending a meeting with a government migration official, was provided an interpreter who spoke a language used in Sudan’s neighbouring countries but not in Sudan and not spoken by the migrant herself. This level of misunderstanding, at all stages of the decision-making process, is affecting the lives of many in the Sudanese community on a daily basis in fundamental ways.
418 surveys were emailed to RMAs around Australia between December 2002 and January 2003. This figure represents 15% of all RMAs. The surveys were sent RMAs who had their contact details and email addresses advertised on the Internet asking for their views on the proposed changes to the MAI. The surveys also asked respondents to detail their experiences in the industry particularly in client interview situations. 73 RMAs responded with completed surveys, representing a 17.5% response rate. There was a high level of interest from both the commercial and non-commercial sectors of the MAI. Many respondents received the survey having been forwarded the email by peers. 73 responses from members of a relatively small industry is a substantial basis from which to draw industry-wide conclusions. The spread of respondents was remarkably reflective of the broader RMA community as described by the MARA.
Surveys were also distributed to migrants and migrant sponsors through the two community centres in Melbourne however the sample size of this group was very small. This is probably due to the survey being distributed only in English language and being quite lengthy. Additionally, some experts were interviewed in the areas of migration practice and cross-cultural communications.
Migration Advice Industry (MAI)
There are three main parties involved in most migration law transactions. First, there are visa applicants and their support networks, some who may be in Australia and acting as sponsors of their application. Second, there are RMAs who are authorised to give Australian migration advice and are employed by applicants if they can afford and/or choose to do so. Third, there are industry regulators: MARA, DIMIA and the refugee, migration and administrative tribunals through which visa applications are decided. The MAI consists of the RMAs and the industry regulators.
As at 30 June 2002, 2,773 migration agents were registered in Australia. To obtain and regain registration all RMAs must undertake ten points of approved continuee professional development (CPD) activities annually.
DIMIA is also the institution to which the industry regulators respond. These regulatory agencies operationalise their statutorily delegated powers. The objective of the MIA, one of these bodies, is to ‘provide a coherent client voice on matters of policy, procedure and service standards’. The MIA, in its role as the MARA, administers the relevant provisions of the Act and undertakes the role of regulator to the MAI. It is established under Part 3 of the Act and has core responsibilities to ‘handle initial and repeat registration applications, complaints and discipline, and education and training for Migration Agents [as well as] monitor[ing] the Migration Agents’ ‘Code of Conduct’.’ At present, the relevant Minister for RMA-related matters is The Honourable Mr Gary Hardgrave. On 24 February 2003, Parliament confirmed that the MARA would continue to operate as the industry regulator for at least five more years.
The MAI is at a crossroads. Over the last decade, it has experienced rapid development from being informal and uncodified to having a supportive infrastructure. Among the most important developments has been the growth of the RMA registration regime through the introduction of the Migration Amendment Act (No. 3) 1992. Against a background of broad criticism, the Government decided to reform the MAI in 1998. The MAI has functioned under a regime of statutory self-regulation since 1998 and has undergone three Reviews of Statutory Self-Regulation. At present, statutory self-regulation is set to continue until the expiry of the reset sunset provision (in s.333 of the Act) in five years time. The time is right for innovative and progressive changes to the systems that found the regulation of RMAs in Australia.
Findings and recommendations
A) Cultural crossings in legal migration processes
The task of RMAs
The process of applying for a visa to enter or stay in Australia is demanding and complex. RMAs are expected to navigate the system on behalf of their clients. As professionals and fiduciaries, they are also obliged to act on their clients’ instructions and wishes. This requirement is heavily dependant on effective communication between RMAs and their clients and then, RMAs and DIMIA. RMAs rely heavily upon their communication skills at many stages in the visa application process. Cross-cultural communication is therefore a necessary and pivotal part of every migration law transaction.
RMAs direct clients to apply for one visa category over another. Migration claims, like all legal arguments, require a set of real-world facts to be moulded into predetermined requirements for the legal prerequisites to be satisfied and the application to be made successfully. Forcing applicants to select a single guise upon which to base their visa application is limiting. This type of reductionist profiling improves processing efficiency and places considerable decision-making pressures on RMAs. Nevertheless, migration decisions must be made by comparing and contrasting the archetypal applicant for each subclass with the applicant themselves.
Defining cross-cultural in the legal-migration context
Unpacking the various forms of cultural difference in the nexus of RMA and client communication was important in this research. Amongst the various forms of difference, it highlighted how Australian legal language is significantly different from everyday language to the extent that it constitutes a cultural communications barrier. Unsurprisingly, many RMA survey respondents assumed that the cultures being ‘crossed’ in their work were ‘Australian/non-Australian’, or even ‘English/non-English speaking’ cultural groups.
A narrow definition of cross-cultural communication that does not take into account the full range of cultural barriers at play in these interactions unnecessarily limits the types of recommendations that this study could draw. A narrow definition would exclude, and therefore hide, difficulties that may arise during interactions between clients and RMAs of the same cultural background. Thus, applying a narrow definition could exclude as much as 70% of RMAs since, at 30 June 2001, this was the proportion of RMAs born overseas. Unless stated otherwise, ‘cross-cultural communication’ refers to communications between those within the Australian legal profession and those outside it when they are involved in a migration transaction. The cultures being crossed, if you like, are the Australian legal/non-legal, English/non-English language, and Australian /non-Australian cultures.
B) Assessing customer service mechanisms in the migration advice industry
Customer service is inextricably linked with effective and sensitive communication. Thus, in order to assess the mechanisms that are designed to improve standards in communication in the MAI, it is necessary to assess the customer service mechanisms that operate within this industry. This research found that although there are many mechanisms, they are not as impressive in practice as they are on paper.
Components of client satisfaction
All survey respondents were asked what were the most important factors for client satisfaction in the MAI. The word ‘satisfaction’ was specifically chosen as satisfying a client requires more care and energy than providing a service. Issues of client satisfaction are particularly sensitive in migration matters as what is at stake is fundamental to the life and often security of the client, especially in the cases of humanitarian visa applicants. Conditions of such import generate enormous pressure, tensions and anxiety for the clients, intensifying the need for clear, accurate, timely and thorough communication by both the RMA and the client that is understandable from the client’s perspective. Additionally, as is a major argument of this paper, this communication occurs across multiple cultural barriers thus demanding of the RMA more time, particular skills and relationship and trust-building than may be required in other sectors of legal practice.
Aplin also notes that, for service providers of Horn of Africa communities, ‘assisting clients to overcome legal problems involves more than just knowing the law.’ She finds that new and emerging communities are ‘unaware of the services being offered and [the service levels] they can expect’.
In short, the survey responses indicated that it was a widely held belief that communication that aided in building the relationship between client and RMA was one of, if not the, most important factor in satisfying an MAI client.
Existing mechanisms for improving client satisfaction
At present there are numerous mechanisms intended to improve standards of client satisfaction in the MAI. Each document is discussed briefly below.
• The RMA Code of Conduct
Under the Migration Regulations, all RMAs are required to display and make available a copy of the Migration Agents Code of Conduct at their offices. By operation of s314(2) of the Act, the Code is legally binding on all Migration Agents. This code is designed as a ‘best practice’ document and outlines the rights and reasonable expectations clients can have of RMAs. The MARA regularly points to the Code document as the ‘catch-all safety net’ for their customer service policies.
In this research, only one respondent mentioned the Code in response to the survey questions, although there was ample opportunity for all respondents to do so. This is a clear indication that few, if any, RMAs regard the document as a guide to service delivery in their practice of migration law. Other MAI analysts have also questioned the utility of this document. Adrian Joel goes so far as to say that ‘the postulates of protection supposedly engendered through the Code of Conduct are objectionably facile’. Similarly, the Australian Labor Party has said that ‘the current Code of Practice appears to be too lenient.’ Mary Jane Ierodiaconou noted that, in her view, the Code of Conduct for RMAs was less stringent than the analogous document for lawyers in Victoria.
It appears that years after its introduction the Code of Conduct is under utilised, little understood and, in practice, a document to which RMAs do not refer. The Code has done little to improve awareness of the need for improved customer service. Although the regulators often highlight the decreased number of unscrupulous agents being reported, few point to the Code as a reason for the decline. Moreover, the decrease in reports of bad practice is not an indicator that the standard of customer service has improved.
• Charter of Public Service in a Culturally Diverse Society
The Charter of Public Service in a Culturally Diverse Society is produced and updated by DIMIA. It is said to ‘provide a nationally consistent approach to ensuring that government-funded services are delivered in a way that is sensitive and responsive to the language and cultural needs of all Australians. [Moreover, the Charter] applies... to services funded by government and provided by community-based organisations or the private sector.’ Public and regulatory-body awareness and application of this instrument appears to be low, as it was not mentioned formally or informally throughout the course of this research. Even so, the recommendations advocated in this paper are in accordance with the policy objective outlined in the Charter.
• MARA Customer Service Charter
In accordance with Recommendation 22 of the Review, the MARA has recently commenced work on a Customer Service Charter for the MAI. As the researcher has not had access to this process, his comments on it are limited. However, according to the MARA’s 2001-02 Annual Report, it appears that the customers referred to in this Charter are the MARA’s customers, i.e. RMAs. If this is the case, it is unlikely that this Charter will address mechanisms to reduced communication barriers and improved client service by RMAs.
• Information on the Regulation of the Migration Advice Profession
The Regulations state that ‘the [MARA] must arrange for a document to be produced with the title, ‘Information on the Regulation of the Migration Advice Profession’. This regulation instructs the MARA to adequately inform potential clients of a migration agent about the [MAI and] ‘what the client can reasonably expect from a Migration Agent’. It is intended that this document will be provided to clients before the RMA starts working for them. This proposed document indicates that the MARA is considering the client's perspective, including issues of misunderstanding.
Industry or market regulation as a client protection mechanism
Many RMA respondents raised issues of market regulation as a client protection mechanism. Some argued that over time migration clients would tend to be referred to RMAs by other satisfied clients or ‘vote with their feet’ if they were not happy. While acknowledging the agency of migration clients to assess an RMA’s sensitivity to their case, it is also evident that assessing the competency of a RMA is difficult. Gillian Hadfield argues that, ‘If [lawyers] say its complex, can you tell? Well certainly if you’re a non-lawyer it’s very difficult to tell. And even for lawyers it can be very difficult to tell. That really makes it very difficult for a market system to work.’
Hadfield makes the point that many clients will not be able to assess the overall capability of their RMA at all. Therefore, if professional standards are to be upheld, the regulatory bodies and not the clients themselves should assume responsibility for ‘weeding out’ unprofessional practice. Expectations that are imposed and enforced seem to be the best way of achieving this. To this end, the Review found that ‘the nature of the MAI and of migration advice transactions may mean that there is always an argument for a strong regulatory framework.’
Are training courses the way forward?
The Review states that ‘CPD and the Code of Conduct are designed to protect consumers whilst not imposing too heavy a regulatory load on Migration Agents’. This research indicates that, at present, neither CPD nor the Code of Conduct sufficiently improve service levels and that alternative strategies should be designed and introduced to ensure that an effective mechanism for guaranteeing customer service standards are in place.
One approach could be to introduce a new focus in CPD activities on customer service. A second may be to introduce an incentive-based scheme to improve customer service. Given the regulatory difficulties associated with the latter, it seems that a strengthened customer service presence in CPD is appropriate. Indeed, this research indicates that an effective way to support RMAs to improve client service is to introduce a cross-cultural communications in customer service component into the CPD activities. This path is also consistent with the Review as ‘all submissions [to the Review] suggested that CPD should be strengthened’.
Irene Donohoue Clyne, lecturer in cross-cultural communication at the University of Melbourne, argued that ‘one cannot ‘know’ how to communicate across cultures in the same way as one may ‘know’ how to apply a mathematical formula.’ Training in cross-cultural communication, she continued, should not be presented only in lecture format. However, despite its theoretical limitations, cross-cultural training offered countless benefits, which can only be learnt through formal training. For example, discourse analysis can only be taught in the classroom. Thus, according to Donohoue Clyne, cross-cultural communications training is best introduced into the registration requirements of RMAs in the form of formal courses.
Benefits of cross-cultural communication training
The benefits of introducing such training for RMAs to the MAI are multiple, widely recognised and supported by respondents to this research. In general, the benefits given can be classified into four groups: social benefits, service benefits, economic benefits and perception benefits. In addition there is, of course, the inherent entitlement of clients to competent service from RMAs and the flow-on in increased integrity of the system generally.
• RMA clients are likely to feel more secure with RMAs when the RMA is responsive to their communications. Flexibility in communication style also minimises discomfort and even the potential to offend a client.
• Being responsive improves the perception of good service from clients of RMAs. Sympathetic communication is vital for positive, trusting and productive relationships.
• Economic benefits flow from accurately conveyed and understood information that reduces time and energy wastage by minimising the need to check and double check what has been said.
• Communicating effectively and learning to understand spoken and unspoken communications will increase the quality and quantity of the information being passed between RMAs and clients, and RMAs and DIMIA.
Aplin has commented that ‘increased sensitivity to the cultural needs of the [Horn of Africa] client group will inevitably lead to an increase in use of services by the client group.’ The resulting economic benefit of increased service levels and efficiency will be marked and significant, both for RMAs and individual clients.
Introducing effective cross-cultural communication training will show, for the first time, that the MAI is willing to look at improving good service, not just attempting to avoid poor service. Thus, indirectly, the introduction of a cross-cultural communication curriculum into CPD will improve the low esteem in which the Industry is presently held.
C) Ensuring cross-cultural communication training for RMAs in CPD
Migration agents are required to complete ten points of Continuing Professional Development activities each year in order to be eligible for re-registration as a Migration Agent. The requirement for RMAs to complete CPD was introduced on 21 March 1999 as part of the intended move towards self-regulation. The purpose of the CPD requirements is to improve the professional competency of RMAs. Of the ten points, RMAs must attain six ‘core’ points. Approved core activities address information regarding ‘black letter law’: those activities that relate to the Act, Regulations, and to migration policies and procedures. These points are gained through training and migration agents can choose how to fulfil the remaining four compulsory points for the year. Although, most RMAs fulfil their quota by undertaking further activities in the core category, some opt for ‘elective’ activities that deal with business-related or extra-legal training.
According to the MARA, ‘a total of 2,082 agents recorded use of many of the 627 approved CPD activities during 2001-02. There was an average of 11.9 CPD activity points per agent from an average of 5.9 activities.’
The MARA records and responses to this research indicate that most RMAs regard elective activities as less valuable to their migration law practice than core courses. One RMA noted that he would only take non-core points ‘just to get up points if necessary’. Another noted begrudgingly that, in their view there is an ‘insufficient number of core courses to enable re-registration so you have no choice’. Another noted that, in their view, ‘there are not many non-core courses around that appear to be of much relevance or use’. In fairness, some practitioners found that ‘in order to have a broad understanding of migration law, one must constantly be studying, reading and learning. This cannot be achieved simply by doing core units.’ On balance, few respondents indicated that non-core activites would be prioritised over core activities. For most RMA respondants, elective courses are courses of last resort.
The responses offered by RMAs were diverse and, taken as a whole, relatively thorough. Without a forum in which to share ideas, such as a cross-cultural communication training course, RMAs are left to glean ways of overcoming problems they know to be endemic in the MAI alone. Thus, while it is acknowledged that knowledge of current migration law is absolutely vital, communication and explanation of some of that knowledge to clients is also vital to RMAs. At present CPD course content does not reflect this. It is therefore submitted that communication training should go hand-in-hand with knowledge training in the MAI.
RMAs’ receptiveness to cross-cultural communications training
Four in nine RMA survey respondents indicated they had undergone cross-cultural training, however all did so in capacities other than as RMAs. When asked, ‘Would you like to see practical cross-cultural training introduced into the Migration Agent’s registration process?’, 63% of RMA survey respondents answered affirmatively, 19% responded ‘no’ and 18% did not respond either way and offered qualifications as to who should undergo such training.
RMAs who responded negatively to the suggestion of introducing compulsory cross-cultural training were concerned with the possibilities of increasing bureaucracy and the possible content and relevance of the courses. The value of such training was also questioned either because it would not be specific enough or would be too specific to be of value. Regardless, the level of cultural specificity of the course was a reasonable concern and one that must be addressed in the formulation of a cross-cultural communication training innovation for RMAs. Another RMA questioned whether cross-cultural sensitivity can in fact be taught through a course methodology. It was argued that ‘cross-cultural awareness cannot be found in some lectures, it takes a lifetime of learning.’ Some RMAs, while supporting training for others, thought they themselves did not need it. Some thought only mono-lingual RMAs or those who worked with people from cultural and linguistic backgrounds other than their own needed training. One mentioned it was wasting energy giving training to participants who were not interested.
In conclusion, while there were some valid concerns raised by those who did not support the introduction of a new component to the CPD requirements, the case made was not as strong as that offered by the majority of respondents who did support its introduction.
D) Engaging interpreters
The researcher asked the respondent RMAs whether they engaged interpreters who are accredited. The survey revealed a previously unrecognised trend: over 60% of RMA respondents had used non-accredited interpreters in client interviews. Some interviewees as well as Dr Donohoue Clyne indicated that the level of non-accredited interpreter usage was, in their view, unacceptably high.
There is concern that non-accredited interpreters and, even worse, friends and family of the RMA themselves, are unlikely to uphold as their primary objective the client’s best interests. The conflict of interest is manifest and an unacceptable lack of qualifications for carrying out the task is likely. As Taylor has previously noted proper ‘interpreters are tools, but only metaphorically. They are people first, and increasingly professionals’. The MARA is the agency best placed to educate the RMA community about the importance of using qualified interpreters who can uphold the ideal of skill and independence in offering interpretation of migration law issues.
E) Future research could learn from this project’s experience
The researcher supports the Review recommendation that ‘to measure client satisfaction, DIMIA and the MARA should introduce regular client surveys and a survey of Migration Agents.’ The author submits that the experiences gained from the present research may offer some relevant insight into further research methodologies in this area.
The sample group was limited to those who use email as a part of their migration practice. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), younger people are more likely to respond to a survey received by email than older people. As the average age of RMAs is 43.7 years, the impact of technology access in this case is likely to skew the responses to reflect the experiences of younger RMAs. Furthermore, because surveys were emailed to a) RMAs who advertised on the Internet and b) who may not screen out unsolicited emails, the sample group cannot be considered random. The ABS also notes that while men and women use the Internet at comparable levels, there are differences between urban and rural and regional based users. Usage may also be affected by economic status. A significant limitation on the survey responses was that the survey was only made available in English. Although many RMAs are from non-English speaking backgrounds backgrounds, only 18% of respondents in this research indicated that their first language was not English.
Consequently, the use of the email survey probably caused sampling error and demographic skew. The RMAs who did respond would be more likely to work with clients across language and cultural barriers. Thus, it is likely that the sample group for this survey may include a high proportion of young, relatively successful, urban-based RMAs with high levels of confidence using computers and who speak English as their first language.
On the beneficial side, according to Mentor, email survey respondents are more likely to give ‘richer and longer’ responses to open-ended questions such as those used in this survey. Email surveys also reduce response time and markedly reduce distribution cost.
Migrant and migrant sponsor surveys
Limited resources and time resulted in the survey being available in English only. Therefore, those who responded were most likely to have been English speakers with awareness of Australian law and the Australian legal system.
The length of the survey was also a significant problem. It limited the number of respondents by increasing the time commitment required to respond. Indeed, the types of questions asked may have been better presented in a forum setting, although this format too would have its limitations.
The MAI is the face of the legal profession for the newest arrivals to Australia. It is in the best interests of the Government and the legal profession to focus resources upon developing a positive reputation at this initial point of contact. Effective and empathetic communication is a core requirement of good legal service provision. In the MAI this is heightened by the need for flexible communication strategies between those in the Australian legal profession and those who are often unfamiliar to both the Australian legal system and Australian cultures generally. The changes that are required to achieve this ideal are small. The differences such a small investment will make to those who need assistance most will be large.
The MAI has undergone rapid change since the introduction of the registration scheme for migration agents. As the MAI has matured and developed, the role of all of its key institutions and instrumentations have changed and adjusted. The MAI is ripe for the kind of fine-tuning that will improve client satisfaction in the MAI, ‘weed out’ poor practice standards and redress the Industry's reputation for unscrupulousness.
In conclusion, this research made the following key findings:
1. RMAs are poorly informed about their fiduciary obligations and receive minimal encouragement to inform themselves of the cross-cultural issues facing their clients.
2. It is time for the MARA to take on a dual function. First, to regulate the industry such that unscrupulous service providers are ineligible to give legal advice. Second, to promote the ideals of multiculturalism by ensuring that the services rendered by RMAs are tailored to the needs of prospective visa applicants.
3. Numerous strategies must be adopted to aid the move towards an improved reputation and level of efficiency in the MAI. MAI participants favour the introduction of cross-cultural communication courses into the CPD registration requirements. This innovation would improve client satisfaction levels better than the instruments that state RMAs’ customer service obligations.
It is a fact of economics and business management, in which both DIMIA and practitioners are mutually interested, that efficient and effective communication with clients will reduce costs and time wastage, and increase client satisfaction. Consequently, a greater sensitivity to cultural difference and awareness of common misunderstandings is in the best interests of the migration agency profession, migrant communities and the government. This research is an important reminder of the challenges facing everyone in the MAI. As Bird states, ‘how we as lawyers and as citizens administer and develop the legal system will, to a large extent, determine the harmony and cohesiveness of our society.’ The simple message is that profiting and caring can and must coexist in the Australian migration advice industry.
Co-founding co-ordinator, Sudanese Australian Integrated Learning (SAIL) Program (www.SAILProgram.cjb.net); founding director, Sudanese Online Research Association (SORA) (sora.akm.net.au); caseload co-ordinator, Spare Lawyers for Refugees (www.sparelawyers.com); 2004 graduate of the University of Melbourne in Arts (Japanese Studies) and Law.
Bird, G., Re-defining a law curriculum from a multicultural perspective: the Monash, Victoria Law Foundation Joint Project, Centre for Migrant and Intercultural Studies, Monash University, 1985, section 4-1.
DIMIA, 2001-02 Review of Statutory Self-Regulation of the Migration Advice Industry, http://www.immi.gov.au/agents/industry/review2002_report.htm, sourced 19 February 2004.
MARA, 2001-02 Annual Report, Sydney, October 2002.
DIMIA, Australian Immigration Book, Made-To-Measure Publications, Neutral Bay, 1996, p. 118.
Migration Act 1958 (Cth.) [as amended].
DIMIA, 2001-02 Review of Statutory Self-Regulation of the Migration Advice Industry.
Ibid., section 3.5.3.
Aplin, S., Analysis of the Legal Needs of Horn of Africa People in Melbourne, Pro Bono Fellowship, Blake Dawson Waldron Lawyers, 2001, pp. 11-12.
DIMIA, ‘Fact Sheet 100’, DIMIA, www.immi.gov.au/facts/100mara.htm, at 20 August 2002, p. 2.
Joel, A., ‘Migration Agent registration rules will not deal with delinquency’, Law Society Journal, May, 1993, p. 44.
Laurie Ferguson, MP, Unscrupulous Migration Agents must be weeded out, Press Release, 16 May, 2003, p. 1.
Interview with Mary Jane Ierodiaconou, Registered Migration Agent, Blake Dawson Waldron, Melbourne, 20 November 2002.
DIMIA, Review of Settlement Services for Migrants and Humanitarian Program Entrants, Commonwealth of Australia, May 2003, www.immi.gov.au/settle/settle_review/pdfs/settlement_review.pdf, p. 16.
MARA, 2001-02 Annual Report, Sydney, October 2002, p. 5.
Regulation 9A in Part 3.
Migration Agents Regulations 1998 (Cth.) Part 3 Regn. 9a.
Ibid., Schedule 2, Part 3.2A(a).
Stan Corey, ‘Interview with Professor Gillian Hadfield, University of Southern California’, Background Briefing, ABC Radio National, 25 August 2002, www.abc.net.au/rn/talks/bbing/stories/s660019.htm, viewed at 20 September 2002.
DIMA, Review of Statutory Self-regulation of the Migration Advice Industry 1999, Commonwealth of Australia (1999), www.immi.gov.au/general/agents_selfreg.pdf, section 5.4.15.
DIMIA, 2001-02 Review of Statutory Self-Regulation of the Migration Advice Industry, section 4.3.4.
Ibid., section 6.1.2.
Interview with Irene Donohoue Clyne, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, 29 January 2003.
Aplin, S., Analysis of the Legal Needs of Horn of Africa People in Melbourne, p.14.
MARA, 2001-02 Annual Report, Sydney, October 2002.
Taylor, V., ‘The Japanese client in court; interpreting the legal process’, in The New Regime: Criteria for Entry, Differing Cultural Values, Staying and Deportation, Immigration Law Series, Seminar Papers, Leo Cussen Institute, 1990, pp. 3-6.
Ibid., Recommendation 8.
ABS, www.abs.gov.au/Ausstats/, at 17 September 2002.
DIMIA, 2001-02 Review of Statutory Self-Regulation of the Migration Advice Industry, p. 16.
ABS, www.abs.gov.au/Ausstats/, at 17 September 2002.
Mentor, K., ‘Internet- Based Survey Research’, presented at the Annual Meetings of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, Anaheim, California, March 2002.
Aplin, S., Analysis of the Legal Needs of Horn of Africa People in Melbourne.
Bird, G., Re-defining a law curriculum from a multicultural perspective, section 4-10.