Alfred Deakin Institute
The Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation (ADI) is a leading humanities and social sciences research institute based at Deakin University, Australia. Our researchers aim to understand the complex meanings of citizenship, social inclusion and globalisation, and investigate the imp


Labour, race and belonging in the Australian horticultural industry


Seasonal labour within the horticultural industry, particularly harvest labour, has often been the focus of heated debate. Challenges related to workforce availability, the so-called ‘backpacker tax’, as well as allegations of exploitation, are often framed in terms of economic and policy considerations. However, these also have complex social and cultural dimensions, and emerge in the context of colonial histories and practices of place-making.

Using an innovative historical-anthropological approach, this project aims to strengthen understandings of the intersections of labour and race relations in Australia’s horticultural industry and the communities entangled with it. In what ways does labour produce belonging, and for whom? Inversely, in what ways does labour produce exclusion? What are the differentiated experiences of Pacific Islander temporary migrant workers, European backpackers, farmers, and others? How can we understand these in relation to local Indigenous histories of both labour and dispossession?

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Chief Investigator

Dr Victoria Stead

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Project Funding

This project is funded by an Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award.