Danish Australian

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Australians of Danish ancestry
JBPetersen.jpg
Total population
Danish
9,025 (by birth, 2011)
54,026 (by ancestry, 2011)
Languages
Religion
Related ethnic groups
Danes, Greenlanders, Danish American, Danish Canadians, Dutch, Dutch Australian, Dutch American

A Danish Australian is an inhabitant of Australia with full or partial Danish ancestry, the majority of these people were part of the Danish diaspora. At the 2006 Census 8,963 Australian residents declared they were born in Denmark.[1] In addition 50,413 Australian residents claimed Danish ancestry, either singuarly or with another ancestry.[2]

History of immigration from Denmark to Australia[edit]

There was some Danish immigration at the time of the Australian gold rushes. It was estimated that there were 1,000 Danes on the Victorian goldfields.[3] Danish immigrants had a significant effect on the Australian dairy industry from the 1880s, in particular establishing and managing butter factories.[3]

Danes in Tasmania[edit]

During the 1870s, a number of East Prussian and Danish Lutherans arrived in Tasmania. Most of them settled in the farming district of Bismarck, attracted by the cheap land and an abundance of clean water. The area was declared a town in 1881.[4]

Lutheranism was very slow to establish in Tasmania. Due to the absence of a Lutheran church, some of the Germans in Bismarck joined the Seventh-day Adventist Church, which arrived in the region in 1889.[5][6] A Lutheran church was finally opened in Hobart on 11 August 1871[7] and remains active today[8] but none was ever built in Bismarck.

Post-war migration[edit]

There was little emigration from Denmark to Australia in the first half of the twentieth century: in 1901 Australia had a population of 6,281 people who had been born in Denmark; in 1947 that number was 2,759. At both counts the population was approximately 75% male. Danish men married women of other ethnicities in Australia which made it harder for the community to maintain its identity.[3]

Danish citizens were within the scope of Australia's Post war immigration scheme. From a population of 2,954 Danish Australians in 1954, there were 7,911 Danes living in Australia in 1981. Masculinity ratios were healthier with 58% of these being males.[3]

Culture[edit]

There is a Danish Australian Cultural Society.[9] The Australian Danish community has been written about in books.[10]

Notable Danish Australians[edit]

Name Born Notable for Connection with Australia and Denmark
Joh Bjelke-Petersen 1911–2005 Former Queensland Premier New Zealand-born of Danish descent
Carl Adolf Feilberg 1844–1887 Journalist, commentator, human rights activist Danish-born
Jørgen Jensen 1891–1922 Businessman Danish-born Australian recipient of the Victoria Cross
Jørgen Jørgensen 1780–1841 Sailor and Adventurer Danish-born
Marie Bjelke Petersen 1874–1969 Novelist Danish-born
Candy Devine Broadcaster Of Danish, Spanish, Scottish, Sri Lankan, Filipino, Polynesian and West Indian descent
Mary Hansen 1966–2002 Guitarist and Singer Of Danish and Norwegian descent
Don Hany 1975- Actor Danish-Hungarian mother, Iraqi father
Dennis Olsen 1938- Singer and Actor
Lawrence Springborg 1968- Politician Of Danish and German descent

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]