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The Ukrainians (Українці in Ukrainian) are an ethnic minority in Australia, numbering about 20,000 people, hence making up 0.16% of the total population. Currently, the main concentrations of Ukrainians are located in Melbournemarker and Sydneymarker.


Although there are indications that a Ukrainian was aboard one of the transports from England in the 1790s and there was a small group of Ukrainians living in Brisbane between World War I and World War II, the main body of Ukrainians immigrated to Australia along with other nationalities in the post-World War II wave of refugees from Europe. These refugees were called "displaced persons" and started arriving in 1948.

In the 1970s a small group of ethnic Ukrainians migrated to Australia from Yugoslavia, and some Ukrainians moved to Australia as refugees from the former Soviet Unionmarker. With the fall of communism there was growing number of Ukrainians that started to emigrate to Australia from Ukraine.

When Australia replaced the White Australia policy with a policy of Multiculturalism in 1975, Ukrainian language radio broadcasts and funding for Ukrainian culture and education significantly increased. as did official recognition of Ukrainian language in government documents and educational establishments.


Community representation and structure

The Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organisations is the umbrella organization that represents the Ukrainian community in Australia. Each State has a number of Ukrainian community associations, or hromadas. The Ukrainian Council of NSW represents the Ukrainian hromadas in New South Walesmarker.

Organized Ukrainian communities exist in:

Cultural organizations

The Ukrainian community in Australia was very active in the formation of a variety of cultural organizations, including choirs, folk dancing groups, and arts organizations like the Ukrainian Artists Society of Australia.

As well, there are Australian versions of Ukrainian youth organizations such as Plast and the Ukrainian Youth Association.

Religion and Churches

Religion plays an important part in Ukrainian life. In Australia the largest percentage of the Ukrainian émigré population came from Western Ukraine, primarily from Galicia. As a result, the Ukrainian Catholic Church, which was the predominate church in this region, had considerable support in Australia for people of Ukrainian background. A significant percentage of Ukrainian émigrés came from Volyn and Bukovyna, and these primarily subscribed to the Ukrainian Orthodox church. Ukrainians who hailed from Central and Eastern Ukraine also tended to support the Ukrainian Orthodox tradition.

Ukrainian Baptist churches also exist in the larger cities as do communities of RUN Vira.

Schools and Education

Ukrainian schools were established in most Ukrainian communities and also in association with the Ukrainian Catholic Church. At their height some 2,300 students were enrolled in one year. The school system established and maintained a Federal Ukrainian school council, published textbooks which were also used in Ukrainian school systems in North America and Europe.

Ukrainian language was included into the government school curriculum as a high school matriculation subject in 1978.

Departments of Ukrainian language were established and maintained on donations from the Ukrainian community at Macquarie Universitymarker in Sydney and Monash University in Melbourne.

Notable Ukrainian Australians

See also



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