Shadow Infrastructures of Care

A/Prof Kathy Mee, Dr. Emma Power Western Sydney University, and Dr. Ilan Wiesel University of Melbourne

Mounting evidence points to difficulties faced by Australians reliant on government income support in meeting market costs of essential needs. This project investigates whether and how ‘shadow care infrastructures’ – a wide range of formal and informal material and social supports – enable the survival, well-being and flourishing of income support recipients. Focusing on people with disabilities, unemployed and asylum seekers, the study evaluates the benefits and harms such infrastructures produce for those receiving and providing care, and the wider community. It examines risks and opportunities to scale up emerging care infrastructures identified as critical to making ends meet for income support recipients in contemporary cities.


Power, E. R., & Mee, K. J. (2020). Housing: an infrastructure of care. Housing Studies35(3), 484-505.

Power, E., Mee, K., & Horrocks, J. (2018). Housing: An infrastructure of care for older Australians. Parity31(4), 16.

Conversation Article

The Conversation - Is this a housing system that cares? That's the question for Australians and their new government

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.