History in Australia

Muslim family

The history of Muslims in Australia dates to the 1860s when Afghan camel drivers arrived in Australia and they played an important role in guiding the explorers through vast lands across central Australia. Many Muslim Afghans settled in the Northern Territory and their descendants in South Australia built the first mosque in 1885 in Adelaide. However, large numbers of Muslims of Arabic speaking backgrounds did not arrive in Australia until the late 1960s and 1970s, and they were predominantly from Lebanon.

During the 1990s Australia saw much larger numbers of Muslims arriving as refugees and migrants form diverse countries, including non-Arabic speaking countries, such as Albania, Indonesia and Malaysia. But those arriving from Arabic speaking countries were predominantly coming from Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Sudan and, in smaller numbers, from other North African countries. There are now over 400,000 Muslims in Australia who have come from over 70 countries all around the world.

The different branches of Islam are represented amongst Muslim communities in Australia. You can contact community service and welfare organisations which provide support and services to Muslims in Victoria through our Directory. You can also find Islamic places of worship, schools, cultural groups and aged care facilities.

Further Reading & Materials