ICS Seminar Series - Sukhmani Khorana, Jasbeer Mamalipurath, Youqing Fan, Karen Soldatic

CaLD Communities during COVID: Intersectional Vulnerabilities and Community Responses

Event Details:

Date and Time: Thursday, March 17, 11:30am - 1:00pm

Location: EA.2.13, Parramatta South Campus, Western Sydney University or online via Zoom

Chair: Karen Soldatic

Panellists: Sukhmani Khorana, Jasbeer Mamalipurath, Youqing Fan

RSVP: Please RSVP via email to e.blight@westernsydney.edu.au by 15th March COB, stating if you will be attending in person or via zoom.


The COVID-19 pandemic revealed a multiplicity of fractured and heterogeneous experiences in the urban environment. Measures of control, protection and preserving the economic productivity of the NSW region had different implications for different groups of people. These included increased policing in ethnically diverse and working-class areas of Western and South-Western Sydney, increased health vulnerabilities along the lines of class, occupation and race, and fractured trust in institutional authority.

During the 2021 lockdowns, Western Sydney faced heightened restrictions compared to the rest of Sydney. Unlike other Australian cities, which adopted largely uniform approaches, this decision by the Berejiklian government reinscribed an enduring history of marginalisation of Sydney’s western and south-western suburbs.

The panel interrogates different aspects of the pandemic experience in diverse communities in Sydney: the intersection of class, occupation and race in determining vulnerabilities, as well as community responses and the role of state, religious and cultural institutions in shaping these responses.


Karen Soldatic is a Professor at the School of Social Sciences & Institute Fellow at ICS. Her research on global welfare regimes builds on her 20 years of experience as an international (Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Indonesia), national and state-based senior policy analyst, researcher and practitioner. She obtained her PhD (Distinction) in 2010 from the University of Western Australia. She was awarded a Fogarty Foundation Excellence in Education Fellowship for 2006–2009, a British Academy International Fellowship in 2012, a fellowship at The Centre for Human Rights Education at Curtin University (2011–2012), where she remains an Adjunct Fellow, and an Australian Research Council DECRA Fellowship (2016–2019).

Youqing Fan is a Senior Lecturer at School of Business and a School-based member of Institute for Culture and Society.  He specialises in urban employment, migrant workers and sustainable management. He is particularly interested in looking at the inequalities and development issues in the urban context, and how business management practices can help to address these issues.

Sukhmani Khorana is a Vice Chancellor’s Senior Research Fellow at the Young and Resilient Research Centre in the Institute for Culture and Society. Her research examines the quotidian and political aspects of migration through the lenses of the media, emotions and space/place.

Jasbeer Mamalipurath is a researcher at the Institute. His research sits at the intersection of digital platforms, communications, race/ethnicity, and social exclusion. Currently, he is exploring the role of digital technologies and narratives in combating misinformation and marginalisation.