This paper draws on related research studies in two urban centres (Melbourne and Adelaide, Australia) with South Sudanese men and women engaged in varying degrees with higher education. The co-authors examine some gendered differences in the process and demands of resettlement, including within employment and education, and its implications for rapidly changing public versus private gender roles. We argue against essentialising discourses of the ?liberatory? nature of education in the west, versus constructions of ?cultural knowledge? as innate, burdensome, and less useful in western contexts. Drawing on Ahmed s critique of discourses of the ?melancholy migrant? which position western knowledges and gendered practices as progressive and therefore more desirable, the authors interrogate the possibility of multiple forms of knowledge and new migrants ? especially South Sudanese ? as enriched by their previous experiences and knowledges, rather than impoverished by them.