Sue Lukes

Migration expert


“Society beyond borders is where I live: the happy product of many borders crossed and ready to go beyond many more. “

My favourite TEDTalk:

Sue Lukes is an acknowledged expert on migration, local services and housing and consults, teaches and writes across these areas in the UK and Europe.  After starting in refugee resettlement, she moved into housing aid, delivering and managing services. She has been freelance since 1996, providing consultancy, interim management, advice and training, writing and lecturing and establishing, evaluating and developing projects.  

Sue is proud of her refugee and migrant roots and what she has learned from her family story about survival, persecution, flight, rescue, solidarity, resilience and faith.  Every day is a celebration of the courage of her grandparents in putting their 9 year old son on a train into an unknown future and of the determination and humanity of the man who made those trains possible.   She hopes that her daughters and granddaughters have inherited or learned enough of all those qualities.  

Over ten years ago Sue helped set up Music in Detention, a charity she now chairs and of which she is inordinately proud.  MID does what it says on the tin: takes participative music into immigration detention centres so that detainees have a voice. And then it takes the music they make into local communities: youth projects, older people’s lunch clubs, schools, homeless groups and sets up a musical dialogue with these other often excluded and voiceless people. Music allows communication across all sorts of boundaries: people can sing each other’s songs when they cannot talk.  It is the language of a society beyond borders.