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Abstract

The Italian Australia diaspora is a heterogeneous mix of regional, class and generational identities. This article identifies and considers the influence of four recent Italian-Australian cohorts on the processes of Italian-Australian cultural formation. Of particular interest is the most recent wave of migrants (post-2000), whose arrival is prompted by the European economic crisis and facilitated by Australia's skilled migration programme. We argue that this cohort is a new form of “elite” skilled migration comprised of people who are independent of, yet reliant on, the community infrastructure and social standing that previous waves of Italian migrants have established. We consider the relationship between these cohorts as a process of “intra-diaspora” knowledge transfer and show how diasporas play a fundamental role in the skilled migration project. These dynamics challenge assumptions that skilled migrant integration is “frictionless”. Rather, their arrival simultaneously generates diaspora renewal as well as tensions around identity and community resources.