Eastern European Australians

Eastern European Australians are Australians of Eastern European ancestry. Eastern European Australian people can usually trace back full or partial heritage to Belarus, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine and other nations bordering with or ethnoculturally related to Eastern Europe. They are a subgroup of European Australians, along with Northwestern European Australians and Southern European Australians.


Eastern European Australians have been studied, researched and reported as a distinct pan-ethnic group which can be based on full or partial ancestry to Eastern Europe.[1][2] The group can be broken down into national subgroups, such as Belarusian Australians.


Between 1947 and 1951, Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics show that Eastern Europeans comprised 37 percent of arrivals to Australia, making them the most numerous immigrant group of non-British descent.[3] Historian Malcolm David Prentis has theorized that Eastern European Australians, unlike Scottish Australians, settled in the country at a time where they were particularly bound by political concern to their ancestral region, making them a more distinct group in modern times than Anglo-Celtic people.[4]

Mid-20th-century literature from Eastern European Australians, while separate from Anglo Australian centrality, has been described as significantly different from the immigrant perspectives of Asians in Australia.[5] Dr Sonia Mycak has suggested these works from authors with heritage from Eastern Europe, in the post-war period, created a symbolic resistance to the Soviet Union from Australia, and a solidarity with occupied homelands.[6]

In 1989, it was reported that up to 71 percent of Eastern Europeans living in Australia voted for The Coalition, while 23 percent voted Australian Labor Party.[7]

In 2016, broadcaster Ray Hadley pointed to the contribution Eastern European Australians had made to the country since before World War II,[8] in an interview with the Department of Home Affairs.[9] MP Matt Keogh has also noted the contribution of the group, praising Eastern European Australians for helping construct the Snowy Mountains Scheme after the war.[10]

Academic researchEdit

Political scientist Ian McAllister has conducted research since the 1980s, surveying after every federal election, and demonstrating that Eastern European Australians are consistently more likely to vote for Liberal–National Coalition than other parties.[11] Research conducted by professor Ellie Vasta in 1992 found that 10 in 78 respondents, who reported at least one parent with Eastern European ancestry, did not associate with that heritage.[12]

2015 research by the Menzies Institute for Medical Research, studied the DNA sequences of a consanguineous Eastern European Australian family who had historically suffered from macular degeneration due to a pathogenic variant in RS1 genes, causing retinoschisis.[13]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Richard Appleton (1983). Australian Writing: Ethnic Writers 1945-1991 (Volume 1 ed.). Angus & Robertson. p. 226. ISBN 978-0959660425. The retention, by immigrant communities, of the beliefs, values and rituals of their parent culture, whether British, Irish, Mediterranean or Eastern European. Australian Catholicism is an obvious example of this phenomenon.
  2. ^ Charles Miranda (5 September 2013). "Bodies pile up in South Africa as gangs fight over lucrative Australian drug trade". The Daily Telegraph. The AFP declined to comment about the Eastern European-Australian dual nationals working with South Africans
  3. ^ Justin Peter Civitillo (2014), The role of soccer in the adjustment of immigrants to Australia: a South Australian case study 1947 to 2013., The University of Adelaide, Eastern Europeans were the most numerous non-British settlers during early postwar intakes, comprising 37 per cent of immigration to Australia from 1947 to 1951 (CBCS, 1953);
  4. ^ Malcolm David Prentis (2008). "Preface". The Scots in Australia. University of New South Wales Press. p. vii. ISBN 978-1921410215. Scots ... adapted so successfully that they are often hard to recognise ... Furthermore, they were not bound to home by a strong political commitment as were many Irish and Eastern Europeans in Australia.
  5. ^ Annette Corkhill (1994). Australian Writing: Ethnic Writers 1945-1991. The University of Melbourne: Academia Press. p. 107. ISBN 978-0958966856. However different these Eastern European Australian perspectives were from Anglo Australian positions, they were still far closer to the dominant culture than Asian systems of thought.
  6. ^ Bruno Mascitelli; Sonia Mycak; Gerardo Papalia, eds. (2016). "Transnational Literary Cultures in Australia: Writers of Polish Descent". The European Diaspora in Australia: An Interdisciplinary Perspective. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. p. 127. ISBN 978-1443888165. Examining the literary production of Eastern Europeans in Australia, Sonia Mycak observed that “The very existence of (...) their cultural products lent symbolic support to the struggle for self determination in Soviet-occupied homelands
  7. ^ "The Bulletin, Issues 5676-5684". The Bulletin (Issues 5676-5684 ed.). 1989. Some 71% of eastern Europeans voted for the coalition, whereas only 23% voted for the ALP in 1987. But this apparent advantage for the coalition is negated because of the smaller number of eastern Europeans in Australia.
  8. ^ "ranscript of interview with Ray Hadley: Radio 2GB/4BC: 24 November 2016: migration to Australia under the Fraser Government". Parliament of Australia. 24 November 2016.
  9. ^ "Interview with Ray Hadley, Radio 2GB-4BC". Department of Home Affairs: Government of Australia. 24 November 2016. Ray Hadley: "Well you think about the contribution that Greek Australians, Greek Italians, Maltese Australians, Eastern European Australians, Lebanese Australians have made since before the war in the case of many of these people and after the war."
  10. ^ "Motions: Equal Rights". Federation Chamber: Parliament of Australia. 23 November 2016. Matt Keogh: "Eastern European Australians who came out after the Second World War and helped to build the Snowy Mountain Scheme, or the orchards that surround my electorate of Burt and the hills of Roleystone, Karragullen and Pickering."
  11. ^ "Do migrants' backgrounds influence their vote?". SBS World News. 5 September 2013. By contrast, he says his research has found Eastern European-Australian voters are more likely to support the Coalition over Labor.
  12. ^ Ellie Vasta (1994). "The second generation". In Stephen Castles (ed.). Australia's Italians: Culture and Community in a Changing Society. Allen & Unwin. p. 163. ISBN 978-1863731706.
  13. ^ David Mackey; Alex Hewitt (2015), Clinical and molecular characterization of females affected by X-linked retinoschisis, Menzies Institute for Medical Research, Design: Clinical and molecular characterization of male and female individuals affected with XLRS in a consanguineous family. Participants: Consanguineous Eastern European-Australian family.