19,416 (by ancestry, 2006).
16,751 (by birth, 2006).
|Dari (Persian dialect), Pashto and other languages of Afghanistan.|
Afghan Australians are Australians whose ancestors came from Afghanistan or who were born in Afghanistan. According to the 2006 Australian census 16,751 Australians were born in Afghanistan while 19,416 claimed Afghan ancestry, either alone or with another ancestry.
The first Afghan cameleers arrived in Melbourne in June 1860, when 8 men arrived with a shipment of 24 camels for the Burke and Wills expedition. Afghans without camels are reported to have reached Australia as early as 1838, they worked in outback Australia from the 1860s to the 1930s. The Afghans played an influential role in finding a way to reach the country's unexplored interiorand establishing the Muslim faith in Australia.
Prior to 1979, approximately 149 Afghans came to Australia for educational purposes. During the 1980s Soviet war in Afghanistan and the 1990s civil war, over 7,000 Afghans arrived to Australia. The Afghan Australian community has produced a sizable number of individuals notable in many fields, including law, medicine, engineering, teaching and business.
In Sydney, the largest portion of Afghan Australians reside in the LGAs of City of Ryde (North Ryde, Macquarie Park, Marsfield, and Top Ryde), The Hills Shire (Castle Hill, Cherrybrook, and Kellyville), Blacktown (Glenwood, Parklea, Stanhope Gardens and Bella Vista) and Sutherland Shire (Miranda). Ethnic Hazaras are believed to reside in suburbs such as Auburn and Merrylands.
In Melbourne the majority of Afghans live in Greater Dandenong and Casey. The recent arrival of Afghan asylum seekers by boat has changed the demography of the Afghan Australian community in a significant way. Once only a tiny minority, Hazaras are now more common among the Afghan Australian community in all major cities and small country towns such as Shepparton, Mildura and Swan Hill in Victoria and Griffith in NSW.
Smaller communities of Afghans are also found in Brisbane and Perth. Australian residents at the time of the 2006 Census who were born in Afghanistan arrived mostly in the 1990s (7,707) and since 2000 (8,554). Very few had arrived before 1979 (149). 9,356 (56%) had acquired Australian citizenship.
In Sydney there are several mosques to which Afghans gather, one located in North Ryde, New South Wales and another located in Blacktown, New South Wales.[dubious ] The Blacktown Mosque is going under reconstruction and will possibly close, due to the small Afghan population in the area. The Mosque may most likely move to Kellyville.
In Sydney there are two Saturday schools for Afghan Australian youths:
- Esteqlal Afghan Saturday School located at Castle Hill Library.
- Top Ryde Persian Saturday School located at Ryde Public School.
Most Afghan Australians are fluent in English and their native Afghan languages. Pashto/Afghan is spoken by The Pashtuns and some other Afghans. Dari (Persian dialect) is understood by Hazara and Tajik Afghans who came from northern areas of Afghanistan. Others may be fluent in additional languages of Afghanistan as well as Urdu, which is the national language of Pakistan.
- Afghan (Australia) - Muslim camel drivers who worked in outback Australia from the 1860s to the 1930s
- "20680-Ancestry (full classification list) by Sex - Australia" (Microsoft Excel download). 2006 Census. Australian Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 2008-06-02. 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 2008-06-02. Total count of persons: 19,855,288.
- "2914.0.55.002 2006 Census Ethnic Media Package" (Excel download). Census Dictionary, 2006 (cat.no 2901.0). Australian Bureau of Statistics. 2007-06-27. Retrieved 2008-07-14.
- Flinders Range Research - The Afghan Camelmen
- "Australia: Going, going, Ghan". CNN. 3 March 2004. Archived from the original on 11 September 2007. Retrieved 27 January 2008.