Maltese Australian

Maltese Australian
Maltese Australian
Total population
92,332 (by ancestry, 2006)[1]

43,701 (by birth, 2006).[2]


English, Maltese, Italian


Roman Catholicism

Related ethnic groups

Maltese in the United Kingdom, Maltese American, Maltese Gibraltarian

Maltese Australians are residents or citizens of Australia who are of Maltese ancestry or Maltese citizens. While most of them emigrated to Australia from Malta, a number emigrated from the United Kingdom where they had settled after having been expelled from Egypt, as holders of British passports, during the Suez Crisis.[3]



The first Maltese arrivals to Australia were convicts who arrived around 1810.[4] The first Maltese immigrant (as opposed to convict or bonded servant) is thought to have been Antonio Azzopardi who arrived in 1838.[5] Many attempts were made at organised mass migration throughout the 19th century but it was only in 1883 the first group of 70 laboureres (and nine stowaways) arrived.

Group and mass migration gradually picked up, first, to Queensland and, after World War I, to Sydney whose automobile industry drew many. Immigration was not without difficulty as Maltese workers tended to be looked down upon and restrictions and quotas were applied. A significant percentage of the Maltese immigrants had intended to stay only temporarily for work but many settled in Australia permanently. Maltese immigration to Australia reached its peak during the 1960s. The majority of Maltese immigrants reside in Melbourne's western suburbs of Sunshine (especially on Glengala Rd) and St Albans, and in Sydney's western suburbs of Greystanes and Horsley Park. The Maltese, as in their home country, are predominately Roman Catholic.[6]


According to the 2006 Australian Census, 43,701 Australians were born in Malta.[2] Maltese ancestry was claimed by 92,332 either alone or with another ancestry.[1] The 2001 Australian Census reported that Maltese was the 14th most common self-reported ancestry.[7]

Notable individuals


  1. ^ a b "20680-Ancestry (full classification list) by Sex - Australia" (Microsoft Excel download). 2006 Census. Australian Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 2008-05-27.  Total responses: 25,451,383 for total count of persons: 19,855,288.
  2. ^ a b "20680-Country of Birth of Person (full classification list) by Sex - Australia" (Microsoft Excel download). 2006 Census. Australian Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 2008-05-27.  Total count of persons: 19,855,288.
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ Empire and Race: The Maltese in Australia, 1881-1949
  7. ^ "4102.0 - Australian Social Trends, 2003 : Population characteristics: Ancestry of Australia's population". Australian Bureau of Statistics.!OpenDocument. Retrieved 2008-05-19.  The ABS states in relation to the ancestry question for the 2001 census the purpose of an ancestry question is to capture current ethnic or cultural affiliations, which are by nature self-perceived, rather than to attempt to document actual historic family origins.

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