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Welsh Australian


Welsh Australian

Welsh Australians
Awstraliaid Cymreig
Total population
113,242 - 683,700 (by ancestry)[1]
25,317 (by birth, 2006).[2]
English and Welsh
Christianity (mostly Anglicanism and Presbyterianism)
Related ethnic groups
Welsh, English Australians, Welsh New Zealanders, Welsh Argentines, Welsh Americans, Welsh Canadians

Welsh Australians are citizens of Australia whose ancestry originates in Wales.


  • Number of Welsh Australians 1
  • Welsh emigration to Australia 2
  • List of notable Welsh-Australians 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • Further reading 6

Number of Welsh Australians

People with Welsh ancestry as a percentage of the population in Australia divided geographically by statistical local area, as of the 2011 census

According to the 2006 Australian census 25,317 Australian residents were born in Wales,[2] while 113,242 (0.44%) claimed Welsh ancestry, either alone or with another ancestry.[1]

The name Jones, which is often considered distinctively Welsh, is one of most-common surnames in Australia, accounting for over 1% of Australians, which suggests a higher rate of Welsh ancestry than indicated by self-identification.

A 1996 study gives the total ethnic strength of Welsh Australians as 243,400. This is made up by 44,100 of un-mixed origin and 683,700 of mixed origin.[3] This would make the Welsh the fifth largest Anglo-Celtic group in Australia after the English, Irish Scottish and Cornish.

The Welsh Australian flag

Welsh emigration to Australia

It is believed that the eastern coast of Australia reminded Captain First Fleet of 1788. Welsh people numbered amongst these first settlers, and continued to arrive in the new colony through the British policy of penal transportation that was implemented for many criminal acts.

A gold rush began in Australia in the early 1850s, and the Eureka Stockade rebellion in 1854 was an early expression of nationalist sentiment. Amongst its leaders was the Welsh-born Chartist John Basson Humffray, one of a significant group of immigrants that came over from Wales at this time.

Mass emigration from Wales to Australia got under way in the early 20th century with New South Wales and Victoria being particularly popular destinations. It is also said that around 20% of the population of New South Wales are at least partly Welsh descended. In the early twentieth-century most of the Welsh settlers were farmers, but later on there was emigration by coal miners to coalfields.

List of notable Welsh-Australians

Name Born-Died Notable for Connection with Australia Connection with Wales
Tony Abbott 1957– Prime Minister of Australia has lived in Australia since he was three years old born in England and maternal grandmother was Welsh
James Atkin, Baron Atkin of Aberdovey (also known as Lord Atkin) 1867–1944 lawyer and judge born in Australia grew up in Wales from age 4; always thought of himself as Welsh
John Beard 1943– artist lives in Australia born in Wales
Julia Gillard 1961– Prime Minister of Australia has lived in Australia since she was five years old born in Wales
Rolf Harris 1930– artist, entertainer and convicted child sex offender born in Australia but has lived in the United Kingdom since 1953 Welsh parents
Billy Hughes 1862–1952 Prime Minister of Australia migrated to Australia 1884 Welsh parents
Dannii Minogue 1971– singer and entertainer born in Australia mother born in Wales
David Jones (merchant) 1793–1873 Retailer and Businessman Set up his business in Australia born in Wales
T. Harri Jones 1921–1965 Poet and Lecturer Migrated to Australia Born in Wales
John McCarthy 1967– Australian rules footballer migrated to Australia born in Wales
Kylie Minogue 1968– singer and actress born in Australia mother born in Wales
Alf Morgans 1850–1933 Premier of Western Australia moved to Australia in 1896 born in Wales
Naomi Watts 1968– actress moved to Australia when she was 15; Australian grandmother lived in Wales between the ages of seven and 14; mother's parents Welsh
Rhys Williams 1988– professional association football (soccer) player born in and grew up in Australia; member of the Australian team (Socceroos) in 2009–2010 Welsh grandparents on his father's side; played for the Welsh under 21 team;[4] Williams was also eligible to play for England or India,[5] the countries in which his parents were born.

See also


  1. ^ a b "20680-Ancestry (full classification list) by Sex - Australia" (Microsoft Excel download).  
  2. ^ a b "20680-Country of Birth of Person (full classification list) by Sex - Australia" (Microsoft Excel download).  
  3. ^ James Jupp (1 October 2001). The Australian People: An Encyclopedia of the Nation, Its People and Their Origins. Cambridge University Press. p. 227.  
  4. ^ "Rhys Williams opts to play for Australia instead of Wales". Herald Sun. 2009-05-12. Retrieved 2009-05-12. 
  5. ^ "Introducing Rhys Williams". Middlesbrough F.C. Retrieved 2009-05-31. 

Further reading

  • Lloyd, Lewis. (1988) Australians from Wales Caernarfon: Gwynedd Archives. ISBN 0-901337-47-1
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