Diasporic relocation and resettlement ideally generate new experiences for diasporic communities and their host societies. At times, host societies (in general) and education (in concomitance) could remain impervious towards the unique cultural practices of diasporic communities, fostering a cultural gap. Such gaps may result in conflicts that impact social engagement, including education, posing cultural and educational challenges for diasporic people. Towards realisation of social justice and whilst balancing diversity, contemporary multi-cultural Australian society and educational institutions may cultivate the enactment of exclusion for students with unique diasporic cultural backgrounds. Hence, the search for equity within Australian education may remain elusive. Considering the responses of two diasporic Sikh parents faced by potential exclusion of their child in a Melbourne suburban school due to wearing a Patka (turban for young Sikh boys), this qualitative study provides a phenomenological exploration of their experiences.


Diaspora, diasporic communities, Sikhs, Turban, education, exclusion, discrimination, multi-culturalism, phenomenology, Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis

Author Bio(s)

Kanwarjeet is currently a doctoral student at the faculty of education, Monash University. His research foci are diaspora, diasporic communities, cultural identity, equity and social justice, particularly within education. As a diasporic Sikh migrant and father of two school-aged children, he has lived in Australia for nearly 14 years and is a part of the greater diasporic resettlement experience. Being a Sikh, he brings an insider perspective to the issue and possesses a deep and insightful understanding of Sikh religious values and cultural practices. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: kanwarjeet.singh@monash.edu.

Jane is a highly experienced researcher and is Kanwarjeet’s supervisor for his on-going doctoral project. She is an Anglo-Celtic Australian who holds an outsider perspective to Kanwarjeet’s research. As an experienced educator she has keen interest in diasporic movements, diasporic cultures, diversity, social justice and equity within Australian society and education. She is on the editorial boards of international refereed journals. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: jane.southcott@monash.edu.


The authors owe their sincere gratitude to the research participants for reposing their utmost faith in this research endeavour and to every other associated person or organisation for making this initiative possible.

Publication Date


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