Being raised by my Grandma Loretta I often heard her tell stories describing the hardships she faced throughout her life due to poverty and education barriers. At the age of twelve she left school to care for her five younger brothers and sisters. As a young woman she picked vegetables and cleaned houses to scrape by. Her life inspired my passion to study people’s experiences with precarious work and to uncover the structural inequalities producing this work. My PhD research focuses on the institutionalised production of hyper-precarious work people do to move across international borders and resettle in Australia. While researching the precarious work typically done by people with ‘non-citizen’ status in Australia, as an international student I also experienced hyper-precarious work when I gave birth to my daughter, Audrey Loretta, midway through my PhD.
We all know how important it is for postgraduate and early career researchers to network and present their research if they aspire to work in academia. I was acutely aware of how having a toddler to care for, living in Darwin, not having access to family support, and being a ‘temporary migrant’ who must to fulfil her visa obligations while being ineligible for childcare subsidies, left little space or opportunity for me to write papers and attend conferences. Therefore, I was greatly honoured—and in many respects relieved—to be awarded a postgraduate scholarship for TASA 2018. Having attended my first TASA conference in 2017, it was an amazing experience for me to return in 2018 to reconnect with those I met the year before and meet with other inspiring sociological researchers. Thank you so much for this opportunity TASA!