Greek Immigration Australia
Australians with Greek ancestry are the seventh largest ethnic group in Australia, numbering approximately 375,000.
The first Greek settlers in Australia were in 1829 when a British naval court charged seven convicts with piracy. Although later pardoned, two of the seven convicts decided to stay in Australia. Later, more Greek settlers came with the gold rushes of the 1850s, and then in the 1950s and 1960s when the Australian Government migration schemes targeted Greeks and Italians.
Today half of those Greek-born live in Victoria, and a third in New South Wales. As a result, Melbourne and Sydney have large Greek communities. Melbourne is the largest Greek City outside of Greece and the home of Greek Immigration to Australia.
Melbourne, as well as being Australia’s second-largest city, has a vibrant large Greek population, with tzatziki and baklava sold alongside traditional Aussie favourites like steak and kidney pie. The Greek Precinct, Lonsdale and Russell Streets are lined with coffee shops, delis and restaurants with many English and Greek signs.
As time passes, more Australians are losing touch with their heritage, and DNA kits are becoming increasingly popular in the small nation. Ancestry.com and MyHeritage are considered leaders in this field of ancestry discovery.
But you mustn’t be Greek to enjoy the city’s Mediterranean offerings. Melbourne, a city of 3 million, is home to 300,000 Greek-Australians.
Although most Greek immigration to Melbourne was post-WWII, Melbourne’s Mediterranean roots go back to 1897 – when The Greek Community of Melbourne & Victoria was established and is one of the oldest ethnic organizations in Australia. Each March, it sponsors the annual Antipodes Festival, a celebration of Greek culture that includes the widely-attended two-day street party.
According to the 2021 census data from Wikipedia, the Greek population in Australia was 424,750 by ancestry. This comprised 1.7% of the Australian population. Additionally, 92,314 Australian residents were born in Greece.