From 19th Century Settlers to 21st Century Tourists: Germans in Australia

Germans have been coming to Australia for over two hundred years. From a small number of convicts transhipped with many others from England, Ireland and Scotland through to settlers fleeing persecution after the revolutions in Europe in the 1840s to young men escaping conscription in the 1860s, waves of migrants throughout the 1900s to present day tourists, businessmen and students.

According to the latest census, there are nearly 900,000 Australians who have some German ancestry, although the true number is obscured by the fact that not all people in the census revealed their ancestry and simply stated that they were just “Australian”. Also, some ethnic Germans may have come from Romania, Hungary and the Netherlands. The census also recorded 108,000 residents of the country as being born in Germany. The German link to the past is one of the largest in Australia being the sixth largest in terms of ancestry after English, Irish, Scottish, Italian and New Zealander.

The German migration pattern has changed over the years. In the 1840s many of the settlers who settled in South Australia in particular came to the country after the 1848 Revolutions in Europe failed, particularly after the March 1848 Revolution collapsed in Germany itself.

In the later part of the nineteenth century, conscription was made compulsory in a unified Prussia and many young men fled what they thought was too much of an emphasis on militarism and German chauvinism.

After the Second World War, the Australian Government actively recruited German migrants and for many years they were one of the largest groups of migrants to the country together with those from Great Britain and Italy.

While German migration for economic reasons has slowed recently, Australia remains a favourite destination for English language students and tourists. German backpackers are found all over Australia and many Australians visit Germany and Austria while holidaying in Europe.

It’s no surprise that the quality of German NAATI translators is very high in Australia and anyone who needs top quality German translation will find a ready source of services in most Australian cities.