Croatian Australians (Croatian: Australski Hrvati) are Australian citizens of Croatian descent. Croatia has been a source of migrants to Australia, particularly in the 1960s and 1970s. In 2016, 133,268 persons resident in Australia (0.6%) identified themselves as having Croatian ancestry.
|133,268 (Croatian ancestry in 2016)|
43,688 (Croatian-born in 2016)
|Regions with significant populations|
|Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney, Wollongong, Perth, Geelong|
|Australian English, Croatian|
|predominantly Roman Catholic|
Croats were first noticeable in Australia during the gold rushes of the 1850s in the province of Victoria. At this time, Croats were coded as "Austrians" because most of Croatia was a part of the Habsburg Empire. By Australian federation in 1901, there were many Croats—mainly from Dalmatia—in Australia, counted with Czechs, Hungarians, Serbs, Slovaks and others as "Austro-Hungarians". The establishment of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes from Austria-Hungary after the First World War — renamed as Yugoslavia shortly afterwards—continued to make it difficult to separate out Croats from other ethnicities in Australia. Croats were not recorded separately until the 1996 Census. The Australian Department of Immigration believes many Croats holding old (and now long out of date) Yugoslav passports still record themselves as Yugoslavs in Australian censuses, over a decade after the disintegration of Yugoslavia.
There is also a community of Croats who follow Islam, the descendants of those who converted after the 16th century, after the conquest of much of Croatia and Bosnia by the Ottomans. They established their Croatian Islamic Centre in 36 Studley St Maidstone, Victoria. with a masjid. Croatian Seventh-Day adventists meet in St. Albans
Nevertheless, it is known that Croats formed a large proportion of those Yugoslavs who settled in Australia the 1960s and 1970s under Australian Government migration schemes. The Yugoslavia-born population reached 129,616 by the 1971 Census and 160,479 by the 1991 Census. The greatest number settled in Sydney and Melbourne, though Croats are well represented in every Australian city and region.
During the 1960s and 1970s, many Croatians were constantly under ASIO surveillance for alleged terrorist activities organised by the Yugoslav secret service, several of whom were named in the media. Some of the longest running and most expensive court cases in Australian history involved Croatians charged with terrorism-related charges that were proven falsified, including the 'Croatian Six' who were convicted on tainted evidence. Federal Attorney-General Lionel Murphy created a media sensation when he led a raid on ASIO Headquarters looking for files on Croatian terrorist activities and not finding any at all, spurred on by claims of non-surveillance by ASIO and that ASIO focused too much of its time on student anti-war groups instead of terrorist groups, though there may have been no terrorist activities for ASIO to investigate.
In November 1977, an unofficial Croatian embassy was opened in Canberra, causing a legal and diplomatic difficulty for both the Australian and Yugoslav governments. The embassy, aimed at raising awareness of Croatia as a nation and the Croatian people separate from Yugoslavia, remained open for a period of 23 months before closing in 1979. Its ambassador Mario Despoja is the father of former Democrats leader Natasha Stott Despoja.
At the 2006 Census 50,993 persons resident in Australia identified themselves as having been born in Croatia, representing about 0.25% of the Australian population. The Census also noted 118,046 persons identified themselves as having Croatian ancestry, either alone or in combination with another ancestry.
Croatian Australians are more likely to be resident in Victoria than any other state. As at 2006, 35.7% of Croats live in Victoria (where only 25% of the total Australian population reside). A further 36.2% of Croatian Australians reside in New South Wales (compared with 33% of the total Australian population).
As the level of immigration from Croatia has dropped significantly from the 1980s (70% of Australian residents born in Croatia arrived before 1980 ), the Croatian-born population is ageing: 43% of the Croatian-born population was aged sixty years old or older at the time of the 2006 Census.
As at the 2006 census 33,012 Croatian-born Australians (65%) speak Croatian at home; 17% of Croatian-born Australians speak English at home. Proficiency in English was self-described by census respondents as very well by 31%, well by 32%, 17% not well, 2.3% not at all (18% didn't state or said not applicable). In 2001, the Croatian language was spoken at home by 69,900 persons in Australia. Croatian is the tenth most widely spoken language in the country after English, Chinese, Italian, Greek, Arabic, Vietnamese, Spanish, Tagalog, German, and Macedonian.
Of the Australian residents who were born in Croatia, 48,271 or 95% were Australian citizens at the time of the 2006 census.
According to 2006 census data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 94% of Croatian born Australians recorded their religion as Christian. 2001 census data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics in 2004, showed denominational affiliation by Croatian Australians was: 85.6% Catholic, 0.9% Anglican, 4.5% Other Christian, 1.4% claiming other Religions, and 7.6% claiming no religious affiliation.
Croatian Australians have an exceptionally low rate of return migration to Croatia. In December 2001, the Department of Foreign Affairs estimated that there were 1,000 Australian citizens resident in Croatia, mainly in Zagreb.
In Western Australia there are numerous large suburbs with Croatian/Slavic descent Fremantle, Spearwood, Cockburn, Dianella, Osborne Park, Gwelup, Stirling, Balcatta.
Croatian Australians and SoccerEdit
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Croats in Australia and their Croatian Australian offspring are notable for their commitment to soccer, with numerous clubs established throughout the country, the most notable and successful being Sydney Croatia and Melbourne Croatia. These clubs nurtured the soccer talents of a large number of Croatian Australians, many of whom now play professionally overseas. Croatian Australians have played for both Croatia and Australia. In the 2006 World Cup, there were seven Croatian Australians playing for Australia and three playing for Croatia. A total of 47 Croatian Australians have gone on to play for the Australian national soccer team, including 7 who captained the national team. The Australian-Croatian Soccer Tournament is the oldest running soccer competition in Australia.
Croatian Australian SocceroosEdit
- Zeljko Adzic
- Zlatko Arambasic
- Mark Babic
- Zeljko Babic
- Paul Bilokapic
- Mark Bosnich
- Oliver Bozanic
- Vic Bozanic
- Mark Bresciano
- Ante Covic
- Jason Culina (C)
- Ivan Franjic
- Eugene Galekovic
- Steve Horvat (C)
- Mile Jedinak (C)
- Ante Juric
- Frank Juric
- Tomi Juric
- Matthew Jurman
- Zeljko Kalac (C)
- Steve Kokoska
- Eddie Krncevic (C)
- Andrew Marth
- Frank Micic
- Ljubo Milicevic
- Ante Milicic
- Branko Milosevic
- Ante Moric
- Jason Petkovic
- Michael Petkovic
- Tom Pondeljak
- Tony Popovic
- Ivo Prskalo
- Ivo Rudic
- Wally Savor
- Josip Skoko (C)
- Matthew Spiranovic
- Dario Vidosic
- Mark Viduka (C)
- Billy Vojtek
- Robert Zabica
- Ruben Zadkovich
- David Zdrilic
- Ned Zelic
- Emily Gielnik
Croatian Australians in Croatian national teamEdit
List Notable Croatian AustraliansEdit
Entertainment and the artsEdit
- Alison Wonderland - electronic dance music DJ, producer and singer.
- Eric Bana – actor (Croatian father)
- Charles Billich – artist
- Peter "Blackie" Black - (Croatian mother) - musician, founding member of The Hard-Ons.
- Luka Budak - author, Head of Croatian Studies, Macquarie University.
- Nathaniel Buzolic – actor
- Philip Bračanin – Composer and musicologist.
- Val Colic-Peisker - associate professor, sociologist and author.
- Branka Čubrilo - novelist - Croatian born, migrated to Australia 1992.
- Ante Dabro – sculptor
- Robert Jozinović – actor
- Robert Luketić – director
- Tatjana Lukić – poetry editor and poet
- Steve Pavlovic – Music entrepreneur
- Roddy Radalj - musician, founding member of the Hoodoo Gurus, the Dubrovniks and Roddy Ray'Da & the Surfin' Caesars.
- Marisa Siketa – actress
- Boris Sujdovic - (Croatian mother) - musician, founding member of The Scientists, the Dubrovniks, the Hoodoo Gurus, Beasts of Bourbon.
- Charmaine Dragun – journalist
- Laura Dundovic – Top 10 finalist of Miss Universe 2008
- Sarah Harris – journalist
- Andrew O'Keefe – TV personality (Croatian mother)
- Amos Gill - Comedian, Radio and TV Presenter
- Silvio Rivier - Television presenter (born in Croatia, migrated to Australia in 1961).
- Tony Krsticevic – politician, WA
- John Newman – Born John Naumenko, NSW politician assassinated in 1994.
- Jaye Radisich – politician
- Ljiljanna Ravlich – politician
- Zed Seselja – politician
- Natasha Stott Despoja – federal politician
Business and WorkEdit
- Jim Bosnjak – former owner of Westbus, the biggest bus company in Australia
- Tony Šantić – Millionaire tuna fisherman, horsebreeder and owner of Makybe Diva
- Tony and Ron Perich - brothers, property development, on Forbes Australia's 20 Richest people 2019.
- Zeljko Ranogajec - businessman and professional gambler
- Jack Tomich - winemaker - arrived Australia 1903, founded Tomich Wines, Mildura, Victoria.
Science and MedicineEdit
- Vlado Perkovic - physician
- Ralph Sarich – Inventor of the revolutionary Orbital Engine, and at one stage, in the 1970s, Australia's richest person.
- Blaž Kraljević – Croatian and Bosnian general
- Ivan Milat – notorious serial killer
- Vincent Serventy – a noted Australian author, ornithologist and conservationist.
- Tom Starcevich – World War 2 Victoria Cross recipient
- Adrian Barich – Australian rules and Rugby League footballer
- Andrew Barisic – footballer, Kingfisher East Bengal
- Andrew Bogut – basketball player, Sydney Kings; formerly with several NBA teams
- Mark Bosnich – former football (soccer) player, Australia, now soccer TV analyst
- Mark Bresciano – football (soccer) player, Al Nasr and Australia (Croatian mother)
- Ivan Cleary - rugby league coach and former player
- Nathan Cleary – rugby league player
- Ante Čović – footballer (soccer) player, Elfsborg and Australia
- Jason Čulina- football (soccer) player, Gold Coast United and Australia
- Alan Didak – Australian rules footballer
- Joey Didulica – former Croatian footballer
- Jelena Dokic – tennis player (Croatian mother)
- John Dorotich – Australian rules footballer
- Anthony Drmic – basketball player, Adelaide 36ers
- Frank Drmic – basketball player, last played for South Dragons
- Mate Dugandzic – football (soccer) player, Adelaide United FC
- Ray Gabelich – Australian rules footballer
- Eugene Galekovic – football (soccer) player and Socceroo
- Darren Gaspar – Australian rules footballer
- Antony Golec – football (soccer) player, Central Coast Mariners, formerly Sydney FC, Sydney United and Adelaide United
- Brent Grgić – Australian rules footballer
- Ivan Henjak – Rugby league coach, former player
- Matt Henjak – Rugby union player, Toulon and formerly Australia (nephew of Ivan)
- Allen Jakovich – Australian rules footballer
- Glen Jakovich – Australian rules footballer
- Vedran Janjetović – football (soccer) player
- Mile Jedinak – footballer (soccer), Aston Villa and Australia.
- Tomi Jurić – footballer (soccer) and Socceroo
- Željko Kalac- former football (soccer) player, Kavala and Australia, now soccer TV analyst
- Anthony Kalik - footballer
- Simon Katich – Australian Cricket representative
- Dean Lukin – Olympic weight lifting gold medalist
- Ivan Maric – Australian rules footballer
- Marinko Matosevic – Tennis player
- Ante Milicic – former football (soccer) player, Rijeka and Australia
- Tomislav Mrčela – Australian footballer, NK Lokomotiva and Australia
- Len Pascoe – Australian Cricket representative
- Mathew Pavlich – Australian rules footballer
- Anthony Perosh – mixed martial arts fighter
- Val Perovic – Australian rules footballer
- Tony Popović – former football (soccer) player and current manager
- Steven Salopek – Australian rules footballer
- Anthony Šerić – football (soccer) player, Hajduk Split and Croatia
- Josip Šimunić – former football (soccer) player, Hoffenheim and Croatia
- Elvis Sinosic – mixed martial arts fighter
- Josip Skoko – former football (soccer) player, Hajduk Split and Australia
- Craig Starcevich – Australian rules footballer
- Peter Sumich – Australian rules footballer
- Erik Surjan – decathlete
- Jacob Surjan – Australian rules footballer
- Bernard Tomić – tennis player
- Steven Ugarković – football player
- Mark Viduka – former football (soccer) player for numerous club teams and Australia
- David Zdrilić – football (soccer) player, now soccer TV analyst
- Ned Zelić – former football (soccer) player for numerous club teams and Australia, now soccer TV analyst
- "20680-Ancestry (full classification list) by Sex – Australia". 2006 Census. Australian Bureau of Statistics. Archived from the original (Microsoft Excel download) on 10 March 2008. Retrieved 2 June 2008. Total responses: 25,451,383 for total count of persons: 19,855,288.
- "20680-Country of Birth of Person (full classification list) by Sex – Australia" (Microsoft Excel download). 2006 Census. Australian Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 2 June 2008. Total count of persons: 19,855,288.
- Islamic Finder Croatian Islamic Centre
- Google Books The South Slav journal: Opseg 6, Dositey Obradovich Circle – 1983
- Google Books James Jupp: The Australian people: an encyclopedia of the nation, its people and their origins, 2001, Cambridge University Press, p. 250
- Hrvatski islamski centar – Croatian Islamic Centre Archived 26 May 2013 at the Wayback Machine
- Islamic Finder – Croatian Mosque – 36 Studley Street , Maidstone, Victoria 3012, Australia
- David McKnight. Australia's Spies and Their Secrets. Allen & Unwin. St Leonards, N.S.W. 1994.
- Croatian Embassy in Canberra – 1977–1978
- "3101.0 – Australian Demographic Statistics, Dec 2006 (rebased on 2006 Census results)". Australian Bureau of Statistics. 19 June 2007. Retrieved 21 July 2008. Estimated resident population, preliminary – 30 June 2006 in '000s were NSW 6 817.2 Vic 5 128.3 Qld 4 091.5 SA 1 568.2 WA 2 059.0 Tas 489.9 NT 210.7 ACT 334.2 Australia 20 701.5
- "2914.0.55.002 2006 Census Ethnic Media Package" (Excel download). Census Dictionary, 2006 (cat.no 2901.0). Australian Bureau of Statistics. 27 June 2007. Retrieved 14 July 2008.
- "Estimates of Australian Citizens Living Overseas as at December 2001" (PDF). Southern Cross Group (DFAT data). 14 February 2001. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 July 2008. Retrieved 15 July 2008.
- "Football gives Australia's Croatian community heart and home". The Guardian. 14 October 2013. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
- "Snags high on Mark Bresciano's menu". Herald Sun. 23 November 2009. Retrieved 21 January 2014.
dad Prospero is Italian and mum Grace is Croatian
- Colic-Peisker, Val.(2000) Croatian and Bosnian migration to Australia in the 1990s. Studies in Western Australian history, No.21, (Being Australian women), p. 117–136.
- Colic-Peisker, Val.(2004) Split lives : Croatian Australian stories North Fremantle, W. Aust. : Fremantle Arts Centre Press. ISBN 1-920731-08-3