The Croatians in Sydney

Walter F Lalich
Luka Budak


Croatian settlement in Sydney has a dynamic history of arrivals, desertions, internment, collective departures, and a continuously rich social and political life although only several hundred Croatians lived in Sydney until 1949. At least 5,000 Croatians lived in Australia in 1947, mostly from the coastal region of Dalmatia, mainly from the Makarska area and the island of Korcula. They made up around 80 per cent of all migrants from what was then Yugoslavia and a majority among the approximately 425 ‘Yugoslavs’ who in lived in Sydney in that period. Many more arrived afterwards and at least 118,046 people in Australia, 33,930 in Sydney, were of Croatian ancestry in 2006.3 The experience of Croatians in Sydney is observed through two historical periods, linked by continuous market gardening in the northern suburbs of Mona Vale and Warriewood, and the western suburbs of Cabramatta and Blacktown. Inevitably, it must be understood against the background of the dramatic political and social events that Croatia and Croatians experienced over the twentieth century.

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