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advisory board

Lutine de Wal Pastoor

Danish Research Centre for Migration

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My research focuses on the education of young people from refugee backgrounds, with a particular focus on making and sustaining an inclusive school environment. At present, I am the coordinator of the Transitions Upon Resettlement in Norway (TURIN) study, part of the Nordic research project Coming of Age in Exile (CAGE). I am also part of the European H2020-project Refugees WellSchool – Preventive school-based interventions to promote the mental well-being of refugee adolescents (2018-2022). Before this, I built and led the  Nordic Network for Research Cooperation on Unaccompanied Refugee Minors, NordURM (2011-2015), and the ‘FUS’ research project about the resettlement of unaccompanied young refugees in Norway (2010-2016). I am an Associate Researcher at the Danish Research Centre for Migration, Ethnicity and Health (MESU), University of Copenhagen. I was a Senior Researcher/Research Professor at the Norwegian Centre for Violence and Traumatic Stress Studies (NKVTS) in Oslo until December 2019.

Jane Wilkinson

Monash University, Australia

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I was the child of a immigrant who fled a war torn country and arrived in Australia speaking no English and who had very little formal education. My interest in refugee education began from this very personal experience. I am passionate about the difference a good education can make, particularly for students from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse [CALD] backgrounds.

I've worked in monocultural education environments where anyone who did not have a white face was viewed with enormous suspicion. I have seen how many people's attitudes can be turned around when these same people become friends, neighbours, fellow religious worshippers and/or members of the same sporting team. I'm looking forward to being part of a dynamic project that promises a great deal for all of us. 

Sarah White

Univeristy of Bath, UK

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For some time now I have been working with others who are unhappy with the mainstream view of wellbeing, which sees it as something belonging to the individual and relating mainly to thoughts, emotions and attitudes.  This doesn’t fit the way people have talked to me about what makes their lives good, especially in Bangladesh, India and Zambia, or the way that colleagues who work in Asia, Africa or Latin America report how people there describe their worlds.  Over the past few years we have therefore been working on developing a different, relational approach to wellbeing, that reflects what people in practice can do and be, as well as how they think and feel.  Putting relationships at the centre means recognising that people are in relationship with others, and this critically affects the opportunities they face and the choices they make.  Relationships are also central to livelihood strategies, especially in contexts where the state and formal sector are limited or weak. But relationships are not just objects of analysis.  Going further, the challenge is to think relationally, to look for the connections between different parts of life, such as how interactions within and between persons is shaped by social, political, economic and ecological structures and processes, and how these in turn contribute to shaping one another.  Developing further this relational approach to wellbeing, in both conceptual and practical terms, is the central project which engages me.

Sari Pöyhönen

University of Jyväskylä, Finland

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I’m professor of applied linguistics at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. My research expertise is in the fields of language education policies and language policy, migration policy; language, identity & belonging, refugee & asylum seeker narratives, minorities and language rights, and adult migrant language education. I'm interested in individuals behind statistics; their stories of being a person seeking asylum or a migrant professional trying to find a place in the labour market. Through linguistic  ethnography, creative inquiry and narrative approaches I focus on individuals in interaction, telling their stories that are embedded within wider cultural and political contexts and social structures. I lived in a children’s home for six years, when I was a teenager. This lived experience has given me strength to fight for social justice.

Tomi Kiilakoski

Finnish Youth Research Society


I am a researcher at the Finnish Youth Research Network and an energetic and restless soul working simultaneously on many academic and practical fields. My ambition has been to understand how education can build a better world and how the voices and ideas of young people could be better heard. To understand education, I have studied philosophy and educational sciences and co-operated with schools and NGOs. Youth participation has been one of the driving forces for me: every new human being has a unique story to tell, without which our societies would be poorer. I have spent my working time developing participatory research methodologies for studying sensitive subjects with young people, and considered how to promote the rights of children and youth, in collaboration with UNICEF, different ministries and local communities. As I think the oldest way to improve collective memory is to write things down, I use it as an excuse to publish books, articles and smaller texts as much as possible.

Daniel Senovilla Hernandez

Université de Poitiers,



Since my Law degree in the mid’ 90s, I have been involved in migration related issues, firstly as an activist and then as an academic. My legal approach has been progressively mixed with social sciences and over the years I have specialized in child migration studies. I have reflected a lot during the last few years on participative methodological approaches, trying to find a balance between scientific effectiveness and an ethically responsible research position. I always commit to providing room for young people’s voices, and I believe that artistic supports allow young migrants to regain control and freedom on what they want to express and share about their life experiences. 

Helen Johnson

British Refugee Council, UK

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I worked as a teacher and a social worker before joining the British Refugee Council, managing teams supporting separeted children. For more than 20 years I have had the privilege of seeing 

countless children work to find 

some solid ground in which to puttentative roots.Some have grown wildly and successfully, some have survived against all odds. Without doubt, children and 

young people who have found networks to cling on to, and from which to draw, have fared better. 

Understanding the importance of those networks when the familiar has been stripped away should allow us to make the space for them to be nurtured and so improve the future for many children.

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