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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Australians of African descent
Bruce DjiteWaleed Aly
Harry O'BrienJohn Maxwell Coetzee
Notable African Australians:
Bruce DjiteWaleed Aly
Harry O'BrienJ.M. Coetzee
Total population
248,605 (by country of birth, 2006) [1]
Regions with significant populations
All capital cities
predominately Melbourne, Sydney and Perth

English, Afrikaans, Arabic, Dinka, Swahili


Predominantly Christianity, Islam

Related ethnic groups

White South African, African American, Black British,South African American, Black Canadian, Afro-Caribbean, Afro-European South African Australian, White Africans of European ancestry.

Immigration from Africa to Australia is only a recent phenomenon, with Europe and Asia traditionally being the largest sources of migration to Australia. In 2005-06 permanent settler arrivals to Australia included 4,000 South Africans and 3,800 Sudanese, constituting the sixth and seventh largest sources of migrants respectively.[2]

There is no clear definition of what constitutes being an "African Australian". The Australian Bureau of Statistics records people according to their birthplace and their self-described ancestry, although aggregated data for Africa is split between "Sub-Saharan" and "North Africa and the Middle East"[3]

African-Australians are not a homogenous group, but include people of diverse cultural, linguistic, religious, educational, and employment backgrounds. Migrants to Australia from the African continent in recent times are typically from a refugee background.[4]

Convicts transported to Australia included Afro-Caribbeans.[5] One of the most notable was the convict turned bushranger John Caesar who arrived with the First Fleet[6] and who had been a slave on a sugar plantation in his early life, most likely born in the West Indies.[7][8]

However, immigration from Africa to Australia remained limited until the 1990s.

Most Africans in Australia come from South Africa and are largely of Afrikaner and British descent. Other South Africans emigrate courtesy of skilled migration programs. Opportunities in Australia, as well as push factors such as rising crime, unemployment and complications arising from the Black Economic Empowerment policies in their home country, have prompted many South Africans to migrate. Earlier Australia had taken in Zimbabwe migrants who left under following the end of white minority rule[9]

Recent conflicts in various parts of Africa, particularly around the Horn of Africa, have prompted people to migrate through humanitarian programs.

Australia also has taken in refugees who left due to conflicts that emerged in the 1990s, such as in Sierra Leone, Burundi, Liberia, Congo, Rwanda and Sudan. [10]



At the 2006 Census, 248,605 residents declared that they were born in Africa.[1]

Major countries of birth of African immigrants to Australia (2006 Census)
Country Population Main city and proportion who live there
South Africa 104,128 Sydney (27.3%)
Egypt 33,497 Sydney (48.5%)
Zimbabwe 20,157 Perth (24.7%)
Sudan 19,049 Melbourne (31.0%)
Mauritius 18,175 Melbourne (48.6%)
Kenya 9,940 Perth (26.9%)
Ethiopia 5,633 Melbourne (53.9%)
Somalia 4,316 Melbourne (60.1%)
Zambia 4,082 Perth (30.7%)
Ghana 2,771 Sydney (51.0%)

See also


  1. ^ a b 20680-Country of Birth of Person (full classification list) by Sex - Australia (2006)
  2. ^ Australian Year Book 2008
  3. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics 1269.0 - Standard Australian Classification of Countries (SACC), 1998 (Revision 2.03)
  4. ^ "African resettlement in Australia: Conference report" (pdf (6.2MB 76 pages)). African Think Tank Inc.. April 2007. Retrieved 2008-06-26. 
  5. ^ Russell McDougall (ed.), ed. "To The Islands: Australian and the Caribbean". 
  6. ^ "Research brings new perspective to Australia's convict past: Interview with Cassandra Pybus concerning her book Black Founders: The Unknown Story of Australia's First Black Settlers". Radio National: PM (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). 2006-06-30. Retrieved 2008-06-26. 
  7. ^ "Negro Convicts in Australia". Retrieved 2008-06-26. 
  8. ^ "John Caesar (alias Black Caesar)". Australian Bushrangers. Glen Rowen Cobb & Co Pty Ltd. 1999. Retrieved 2008-06-26. 
  9. ^ Cubes&6A3757E70A332F03CA25741700117EA1&0&2006-07&26.03.2008&Latest ABS 3412.0 Permanent arrivals, Country of birth, 1975-76 to 2006-07
  10. ^ Fisher, C. (2009). The exploration of the nature and understanding of family violence within Sudanese, Somalian, Ethiopian, Liberian and Sierra Leonean communities and its impact on individuals, family relations, the community and settlement. ASeTTS. url=

External links



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