Hear linguists talking about various aspects and linguistic diversity of Australia\"s aboriginal languages

Although English is no Australia’s main language, that is efficiently the de facto national language and is practically universally spoken. Nevertheless, there space hundreds of indigenous languages, though many have end up being extinct since 1950, and also most the the enduring languages have very couple of speakers. Mabuiag, talked in the west Torres Strait Islands, and also the west Desert language have about 8,000 and 4,000 speakers, respectively, and about 50,000 aboriginal people may still have some knowledge of an Australian language. (For complete discussion, see Australian aboriginal languages.) The languages of immigrant teams in Australia are also spoken, many notably Chinese, Italian, and Greek.

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Recorded religious adherence has normally mirrored the immigrants’ backgrounds. In every census because the early colonial era, most Australians have actually professed to be Christian, principally Anglican and Roman Catholic, but an easy materialism has become much more influential 보다 Christianity. The number of Roman Catholics surpassed the number of Anglicans because that the an initial time in the so late 1980s. In the at an early stage 21st century an ext than one-half that Australians determined themselves as Christian; around one-fourth were roman inn Catholic and one-fifth Anglican. Smaller proportions belonged to other Protestant denominations (notably Uniting Church, Presbyterian, and also Reformed), and also there were also little groups the Jews and also Hindus. The proportions registering as Orthodox Christians, Muslims, and Buddhists raised sharply in the late 20th century. Virtually one-fourth that Australians professed no religion. In contrast to the european settlers, traditional indigenous communities are intensely spiritual. There religion gives meaning to life, and the coordinating template is the maintain connection between land and people.


Lambing flat Riots
Lambing level Riots, section from the role Harvest that Endurance, 1988.
National Museum of Australia

White Australia policy

Responding come the influx of Chinese immigrants, the immigration Restriction action of 1901 (“White Australia” policy) aimed in ~ excluding all human being who were no of brother or European lower from entering the country. This legislation was designed to prevent the diluting of Australia’s Anglo-Celtic heritage—that is, to support the id of a homogeneous nation consisting completely of a “white” population. Under this legislation, migrants who wished to resolve in Australia were forced to pass a dictation test the was administered in English or a european language. Consequently, this made it extremely daunting for oriental migrants, and by the late 1940s human being of eastern descent comprised only about 0.21 percent that the whole Australian population. Although the plan was both unproductive and discriminatory, it to be made an ext attractive by blending imperial and also nationalistic sentiments the proclaimed “population capacities” the 100 come 500 million in Australia’s “vast north spaces.” In the interwar duration the Australian geographer Griffith Taylor argued that there to be stringent environmental borders that would restrict Australia’s population to about 20 million civilization by the end of the 20th century. Taylor was vilified and finally hounded out of Australia, however his “environmental determinism,” choose his exceptional prediction, was well remembered, specifically since Australia’s populace only approached that benchmark at the beginning of the 21st century.


The new Australian, January 1929, publication of the huge Brother Movement, an company that facilitated migration that young guys to Australia indigenous the united Kingdom.

First and 2nd waves that postwar immigration

By 1953, under the massive Resettlement scheme for Displaced Persons, the Australian government had aided over 170,000 refugees to move to Australia. This was the an initial wave that postwar, non-British european migrants. Upon their arrival in Australia, lock were inserted in short-term accommodations in transit camps, reception and training centres, hold centres, or workers’ hostels, wherein they got food and also assistance native the government. This war-torn refugees were taught the English language and detailed with vocational training. In exchange because that their free passage and resettlement in Australia, lock were intended to commit come a two-year functioning contract in whatever jobs the Australian federal government directed. The bulk of this refugees were sent out to isolated rural areas to do unskilled labour, including constructing and also maintaining railway lines and also roads, functioning in mines, harvest sugarcane, fruit picking, and working in manufacturing and building industries.


citizenship ceremony
Immigrants attending an Australian citizenship ceremony during the 1950s.
Virtual Museum of Italian immigrant in the Illawarra; used with permission that ITSOWEL

A 2nd wave of immigration took place throughout the 1950s and ’60s, which had those search employment and a far better way of life. Indigenous 1952 to 1962, the Australian federal government negotiated a collection of immigrant agreements, supplying an helped Passage scheme that enabled some default migrants almost cost-free passage in return for the supplication of work for two years. This migrants were mostly from european countries, principally the Netherlands and also Italy in 1951; Austria, Belgium, West Germany, Greece, and also Spain in 1952; and also Switzerland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland in 1954. A big number of southerly European migrants arrived in the period from 1954 to 1965. Many of these were young single men that were recruited to provide much-needed work for large public functions programs, such as the Snowy mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme. Others worked in the manufacturing and construction industries, in i m sorry there was a substantial demand for labour, as a result of the quickly expanding population and cultivation economy. The agricultural industries additionally employed a considerable number of migrants, particularly southern europe who functioned in agriculture developing fruit orchards and also the sugarcane fields. The occupational completed by migrants in different sectors was a valuable contributor come Australia’s rapid economic growth. Numerous industries peaked throughout this period, an especially the building and also manufacturing industries, which pertained to rely ~ above migrant workers, with one-third of the manufacturing workforce born overseas.

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Immigrants working in a tunnel as component of the Snowy mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme, new South Wales, Australia.