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Author's profile photo Ruman and Kanala

Data Visualization for Refugee Issues in Australia

According to UNHCR (2017), Refugees is “a people who have gotten away abuse for reasons of race, nationality, religion, participation of a specific social gathering or political opinion in their nation of origin and are unable to gain its safety”.

The report discusses the different refugee issues in Australia utilizing by providing an overall view and data analysis that has been collected from various sources. The most common refugees issues are education, employment, Housing, torture and trauma, health, family issues, gender (Australian Government Department of Immigration, 2016)

(Australian Human Rights Commission, 2014) Australia has one of the most restrictive immigration detention systems in the world. It is mandatory, indefinite and provides no opportunity for people to challenge the need for their detention in court. (Refugee Council of Australia, 2016) To be eligible for resettlement, UNHCR utilized seven categories to choose refugees for resettlement that is

  • Legal / physical need
  • Torture survivors / Violence
  • Medical requirement
  • Girls and women risk due to their gender
  • Family reunification
  • Adolescents and children at risk
  • Lack of Foreseeable alternative durable solutions

Refugee who arrived on refugee visa are require to meet several difficult condition.

Figure 1. Refugee and humanitarian entrants by state or territory of settlement, 2007-08 to 2012-13 (SAP Lumira)

The above Figure 1 shows refugee and humanitarian entrants by state or territory of settlement, 2007-08 to 2012-13.

From the above figure, the total percentage of population of refugee is 9,507 people from 2007-2013 of all state/territory in Australia i.e. Australia Capital Territory, New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia.

The NSW state have 4,151 which is the highest number of Refugee and humanitarian entrants by state or territory of settlement and Northern Territory have the lowest 54 respectively.

It can be seen that the numbers of humanitarian entrants in each year decrease from 2007 to 2013 and tends to decrease over time.

Figure 2. People in held immigration detention facilities by detention group (SAP Lumiar)

The figure 2, shows People in Held Immigration Detention Facilities by Detention Group that many people in the facility immigration detention by detainee, including Overstayed (264), S501 Cancellation (451) and other visa cancellation (140), illegal foreign Fisher(26) illegal maritime arrivals (415), Air Arrival-Non Immigration Cleared (59) and Seaport Arrival (9), if required – such as inadequate documentation sailors and runaways and other marine forces.

The biggest number is from S501 Cancellation Visa (451) for migration people and the lowest number is Seaport Arrival (9). This figure shows that most refugee are arriving in Australia already but they cannot apply their visa because of the immigration changed policy for refugee and they have limit to accept refugee in this time.

Figure 3. Asylum Seekers arriving by boat, by calendar year, 1 January 1976 to 31 December 2014 (SAP Lumira)

The figure 3 shows the Asylum seekers arriving by boat, by calendar year, 1 January 1976 to 31 December 2014

For many years, Australian politicians and other public figures are debatable Australia in the refugee boat. In Claims for the protection of refugees or are just “The economic migrants” Australia has analyzed the statistics of the Australian government about the visas for arriving ships from 1 January 1976 to December 31, 2014 – and found that those who come by boat seeking asylum in Australia.

From the figure the number of asylum seekers coming to Australia in 2013 is the biggest number of refugee is 300 of boat and 20,587 people who migrant to Australia from boat and 2012 is the other large number is 278 boat and 17,202 people who migrant to Australia from boat.

Figure 4. Australia’s Refugee and Humanitarian Program visa by stream, 1977-78 to 2011-12 (SAP Lumira)

In this figure 4 shows Australia’s Refugee and Humanitarian Program visa grants by stream, 1977-78 to 2011-12. As you can see the figure that show the number of the Refugee from onshore and offshore from 1977 – 2012 the total of number is 478,282.

From 1989-80 have 1.99% of refugee who apply onshore, this is the first year that have refugee to apply onshore because of the policy of immigration that allow to apply visa onshore and many refugees who live in Australia by illegal will come to show up them self to stay in Australia for legal and the trend of refugee to apply visa onshore is going high in every year (Birrell, R., 1994).

Figure 5. Number of Personal receiving, by split family type and decision type, 2011-2012

In the figure from 2011-2012, The refugee family has ledge a visa and get a visa in Australia. Which is divided into two main groups of lodge for hold family visa and another group is a separate family visa the total of 47,960 adults, which is apply by family the total is 46,407 and visa granted 595 and Refused 40,457 and the total of split family to apply visa are 1,553, visa granted 768 and visa refused 785. As compare between them, the refugee who has apply visa by split family have more opportunity to get the visa be granted than refugee who apply with their family.

When refugees flee fight or torture in their home town, family members are left behind or separated by restrictions or total regions. The experience of movement and migration involves a high degree of suffering and pressure and is go downhill when families are separated.

Inappropriately, the Australian Government has gradually worn to allow options for refugees to come together with their families through continuous years of policy changes. To commence, there are many walls to family gathering through the Special Humanitarian Programme (SHP). These include borders of entitlement for family gathering, processing main concern, lengthy delays and high budgets. As a consequence of these challenges, more refugees depend on another way under the ‘General Migration Programmed’. However, alternatives under the General Migration Programmed have supplementary boundaries for refugees.

In conclusion, it is mandatory for Australia to cooperate in eradicating this issues of Refugees/Asylum Seekers by sharing and analyzing data, addressing the challenges, finding ways to deal with this issues.

Below is the video showing the Visualization process in SAP Lumira:


Australian Human Rights Commission n.d., Face the facts: Asylum Seekers and Refugees, Australian Human Rights Commission, viewed 14 Feburary 2017, <>.

Asylum seekers/refugees 2014, The Salvation Army, viewed 12 February 2017,


Adelman, H., 1994. Immigration and refugee policy: Australia and Canada compared (Vol. 2). University of Toronto Press

Birrell, R., 1994. Immigration control in Australia. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 534(1), pp.106-117.

Crock, M., Saul, B. and Dastyari, A., 2006. Future seekers II: Refugees and irregular migration in Australia (Vol. 2). Federation Press.

Conversation Contributor 2016, ‘Why teaching must be rated’, Australian News Daily, 16 February, viewed 13 February 2017, <$100m-a-year-in-welfare-with-an-unemployment-rate-of-97 >.

Department of Immigration and Border Protection, Australian Government, 2016. Immigration Detention and Community Statistics Summary. , 7.

Department of Immigration and Citizenship, Australian Government, 2011-12. Australia’s offshore Humanitarian Program: 2011–12. , 23.

Glenn 2013, The facts about ‘boat people’ – The government & media are lying, viewed 14 February 2017,


Historical Statistics 2016, Refugee Council of Australia, viewed 12 February 2017,


Historical Statistics 2016, Refugee Council of Australia, viewed 12 February 2017,


Jenkinson, R., Silbert, M., De Maio, J. and Edwards, B., 2016. Settlement experiences of recently arrived humanitarian migrants: Building a New Life in Australia-Wave 1. Family Matters, (97), p.82.

The UNHCR 2017, Refugees, viewed 12 February 2017,


REFUGEE ACTION COALITION SYDNEY 2017, Fact Sheets, viewed 11 February 2017,


Resettlement Statistics 2016, Refugee Council of Australia, viewed 12 February 2017,


Some facts & figures 2010, The Asylum & Refugee Law Project, viewed 14 February 2017,

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Steve Goode 2014, Number of persons arriving by unauthorised boat in Australia, viewed 14 February 2017,


Moderator note: used SAP BusinessObjects Lumira for visualizations

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      Author's profile photo Alexandra Hurley
      Alexandra Hurley


      Great article! I work for SAP in the GFSS team. I was wondering if i could email you for more information about the process behind these visualisations with Lumira. I am writing a thesis about refugee law processes.