Understanding and managing the diversity of our population 


With a growing number of cultures living outside their “homelands”, the time is right for a concerted attempt to understand and manage this unprecedented diversity of human settlements, according to a leading academic.

Associate Professor of Economics with Charles Darwin University’s School of Law and Business, Sivaram (Ram)Vemuri said the upcoming Indian Diaspora Conference in Darwin would examine the policy attempts put forward at the micro and macro levels of the south Asian diaspora in the Australian context.

The two-day conference, entitled Dealing with the Diaspora: Policy Framework and Options, will feature selected scholars from India and Australia, who will address a range of topical issues.

Dr Vemuri said the cultural diversity experienced in the West and the tensions that it created at the individual, regional, national and global levels needed specific attention by scholars and researchers.

“In recent years there has been a paradigm shift in terms of both perceptions and policy approaches toward diasporic communities in the host and home countries," he said.

“As the size and importance of some of the diasporas, such as the Indian diaspora, have grown in recent years, past attitudes, ranging broadly between ambivalence and alarm, have yielded a place for innovative policy changes in dealing with the diaspora in their host and home settings.”

Dr Vemuri said that a growing body of evidence suggested that diaspora facilitate trade and investment as well as transnational human networks.

“Beyond commercial and diplomatic considerations, there is also a range of deeper questions around the meaning and identity of diaspora and the policy options/obligations of the home and host states toward these communities.”

The second Annual Indian Diaspora Conference will be held from 25-26 June 2009 in Building Blue 1.1.01 on CDU’s Casuarina campus.