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Changing patterns of migration to Australia's Northern Territory: Evidence of new forms of escalator migration to frontier regions?

Catherine Martel, Andrew Taylor, Dean Carson


Building on Fielding’s idea of escalator regions as places where young people migrate (often temporarily) to get rapid career advancement, this paper proposes a new perspective on 'escalator migration' as it applies to frontier or remote regions in particular. Life events, their timing and iterations have changed in the thirty years since Fielding first coined the term ‘escalator region’, with delayed adulthood, multiple career working lives, population ageing and different dynamics between men and women in the work and family sphere. The object of this paper is to examine recent migration trends to Australia's Northern Territory for evidence of new or emerging 'escalator migrants'.


Escalator region; workforce recruitment; frontier region; Northern Territory; interstate labour migration

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