77,010 (by birth, 2011 Census)
62,960 (by ancestry, 2011 Census)
|Regions with significant populations|
|Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Canberra|
|Australian English • American English|
|Protestantism · Roman Catholicism · Atheism|
|Related ethnic groups|
|African American • European American
Hispanic and Latino American
Asian American • Native American
Pacific Islander American
American Australians are Australians who are either born in, or descended from migrants from the United States and its territories. This can include people of European, African American, American Indian, Hispanic, Asian, or Pacific Islander backgrounds.
At the 2006 Australian Census, 71,718 Australian residents declared that they were American-born. Concentrations of American-born residents were in Sydney (16,339), Melbourne (11,130), Brisbane (6,057), Perth (5,558), Adelaide (2,862), and Canberra (1,970). Also at the census, residents could nominate up to two ancestries; 56,283 respondents declared they had American ancestry with 3,901 who declared Hispanic ancestry, 1,798 declared an African American ancestry, 3,936 declared a native North American Indian ancestry and 224 declared Puerto Rican ancestry.
The first North Americans to make landfall in Australia were British crewmen from the Endeavour under Captain Cook, who sojourned at Botany Bay in 1770. Once a permanent colony was established in New South Wales, "trade links were developed almost exclusively with North America."
The North American colonies — including both contemporary Canada and the United States — had been used by Britain for penal transportation. With the independence of the United States in the 1770s, the British Government sought new lands to exile convicts, and Australia became the pre-eminent prison colony of the British Empire.
From the 1770s to the 1840s, North Americans settled in Australia primarily as demobilised British soldiers and sailors, as convicts — a number of United States citizens were arrested at sea for maritime offences, tried, and transported — and as whalers, sealers or itinerants. Many of these settlers moved on to New Zealand for a time, and often returned to New South Wales. African Americans had a noted presence in the earliest British outposts in Australia, usually after a period of service in British Navy.
In the 1850s, large numbers of United States citizens arrived, most usually after periods in gold rush California. These migrants settled predominantly in rural Victoria, where the discovery of gold had encouraged a large colony of prospectors and speculators. A number of United States-born played eminent roles in the Eureka Stockade, particularly in regard to paramilitary formations organised for self-defence by the miners. The colonial authorities suspected the United States-born — amongst others, such as the Irish — of disseminating republicanism.
At the time of Federation in 1901, there were 7,448 United States-born in Australia. Around this time, these American-Australians were notable in the labour movement — including the formation of trade unions and the Australian Labor Party (hence Labor being spelt in the North American fashion instead of the more common Labour, however both spellings were acceptable in Australian English at the time). Despite North American socio-cultural influences, Australian public opinion was wary of the United States itself: the visit of the "Great White Fleet" of the United States Navy to Sydney and Melbourne in 1908 was greeted with fanfare, but provoked immediate comment that the (British) Royal Navy should make an even greater show of force to restate in the strongest military terms Australia's position as the south-eastern guarantor of the British Empire.
During the Second World War, over a million United States soldiers were at some point stationed in Australia at the request of the Australian Government following the surrender of the British garrison in Singapore to the Japanese in 1941. When the war ended, 12,000 Australian women migrated to the United States as war brides, and 10,000 United States citizens settled in Australia — including ex-servicemen as war husbands.
The ANZUS Treaty between the United States, Australia, and New Zealand was signed in 1951, locking the three countries into a mutual defence pact. This increased social and political ties between Australia and the United States and led to Australia and New Zealand committing troops to the Vietnam War in the 1960s and 1970s — these connections and increased worldwide travel encouraged greater numbers of United States citizens to migrate permanently and in 1971 there were 39,035 United States-born residents in Australia
Notable American Australians
|Name||Born – Died||Notable for||Connection with Australia||Connection with the United States|
|Janet Andrewartha||1952–||actress||works in Australia||born in Camarillo, California|
|Aaron Baddeley||1981–||golf player||moved to Australia when 2 years old; raised in Australia||born in Lebanon, New Hampshire|
|Carsten Ball||1987–||tennis player||raised in Australia||born in Newport Beach, California|
|Duncan Ball||1941–||author||moved to Australia in 1974; naturalised Australian in 1980||born in Boston, Massachusetts|
|Cal Bruton||1954–||basketball player and coach||moved to Australia in 1979; naturalised c. 1985; played for the men's national team and named to the NBL 25th Anniversary Team in 2003.||born in New York City, New York; played college basketball at Wichita State University|
|John Butler||1975–||musician, founder John Butler Trio||Australian father; moved to Australia in 1986||born in Torrance, California|
|Cate Blanchett||1969–||actress||born in Australia||father was American|
|Betty Bobbitt||1939–||actress and author||moved to Australia in 1962||Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania|
|Chelsea Brown||1946–||comedienne and actress||moved to Australia in 1977; married to actor Vic Rooney until his death in 2002||Born in Chicago, Illinois|
|Kate Ceberano||1966–||actress and singer||born and raised in Australia||her father Tino Ceberano is American of Filipino Hawaiian descent|
|Didier Cohen||1985–||artists and repertoire (a&r), media personality, actor, and model||raised in Australia||born in Los Angeles, California|
|Bruce Djite||1987–||football (soccer) player||moved to Australia when 3 years old; raised in Australia||born in Washington, D.C.|
|Dante Exum||1995–||basketball player||born and raised in Australia||father Cecil Exum is an African American who played in the NBL and still lives in Australia|
|Mel Gibson||1956–||actor and director||moved to Australia when 12 years old; paternal grandmother was Australian; honorary Officer of the Order of Australia||born Peekskill, New York and holds dual US and Irish citizenships|
|Ricky Grace||1966–||basketball player||moved to Australia in 1990; naturalised c. 1996; played for the men's national team and named to the NBL 25th Anniversary Team.||born in Dallas, Texas; played college basketball at the University of Oklahoma|
|John Harkins||1960–||jazz pianist and singer||moved to Australia in 1885; founder of the John Harkins Trio; frequent performer at Manly Jazz Festival and others||studied classical piano at NYC's Manhattan School of Music and spent his younger years playing in famous Chicago and NYC jazz clubs.|
|Marcia Hines||1953–||singer and actress||moved to Australia in 1969; member of the Order of Australia (naturalised 1994)||born in Boston, Massachusetts|
|Deni Hines||1970–||singer and actress||born in Australia||Daughter of Marcia Hines; Father is of Somalian/Ethiopian descent|
|Kyrie Irving||1992–||basketball player||born in Australia||parents are American|
|Terri Irwin||1964–||Zoologist, naturalist, author and television presenter||Wife of Steve Irwin. Moved to Australia in 1992; naturalised in 2009 three years after her husband's death||born in Eugene, Oregon|
|Bindi Irwin||1998–||Singer, actress and television personality||born in Australia||Daughter of Terri and Steve Irwin|
|Kristina Keneally||1968–||Premier of New South Wales 2009–2011||moved to Australia in 1994; naturalised Australian in 2000||born Kristina Marie Kerscher in Las Vegas, Nevada to American father and Australian mother|
|Nicole Kidman||1967–||actress||dual citizen by descent (Australian parents)||dual citizen by birth (born in Honolulu, Hawaii)|
|Don Lane||1933–2009||TV presenter, cabaret performer||moved to Australia 1965||born Morton Donald Isaacson in New York City, New York|
|Cheltzie Lee||1993–||figure skater||born in Australia||mother is American|
|Leroy Loggins||1957–||basketball player||as an Australian citizen competed in the 1992 Olympic Games||born New Brunswick, New Jersey|
|Bob Meyer||1932–2009||logician||moved to Australia 1974||born in US|
|King O'Malley||1858–1953||Australian politician||lived in Australia from 1888||claimed to have been born in Canada, more likely that he was born in US|
|Mike Nahan||1950–||Australian politician||moved to Australia in 1978; naturalised Australian in 1988||born in Ann Arbor, Michigan|
|Caleb Patterson-Sewell||1987–||football (soccer) player||moved to Australia when 2 years old; raised in Australia||born in Hendersonville, Tennessee to American father and Australian mother|
|Don Pyke||1968–||Australian rules footballer||father is Australian||born in Bloomington, Illinois|
|Peter Ruehl||1947–2011||journalist and television news personality||moved to Australia in 1987||born in New York City, New York|
|Penny Sackett||1956–||astronomer||moved to Australia in 2002; naturalised Australian in 2008||born Lincoln, Nebraska|
|Brian Schmidt||1967–||astrophysicist||moved to Australia 1994, co-winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics 2011||born Missoula, Montana|
|Jon Hunter Spence||1945–2011||Jane Austen scholar||Became an Australian citizen in 2011||born Camilla, Georgia|
|Sanford Wheeler||1970–||Australian rules footballer||migrated to Australia in 1975||born in US to Australian father and American mother|
|Lydia Williams||1988–||football (soccer) player||born in Australia||mother is American|
- Australian Bureau of Statistics – Ethnic Media Kit
- ibid, Ancestry (full classification list) by Sex – Australia
- Publications: Statistics – Community Information Summaries
- Hughes, Robert. The Fatal Shore. London: Routledge (1986).
- The Colony. SBS Television (2002)
- Macintyre, Stuart. A Concise History of Australia. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (2004).