Fijians started arriving in Australia in the late 1800s. Through this time and the first half of the 20th century, most migrants to arrive from Fiji had European heritage. They were generally the children of British missionary families. Migration increased substantially after Fiji gained independence from the British in 1970. Through this time, Fijians of otherbackgrounds started arriving as well. Many people were enticed by Australia’s economic and employment opportunities. In the late 1980s, migration peaked as many Indo-Fijians left Fiji surrounding military coups and suppression of their political representation. From 1991 onwards, Fijian migration reduced but remained consistent.
The Fijian community in Australia consists of many different, religious and cultural groups. However, most Fiji-born people in Australia are Indo-Fijians. In the 2011 census, 57% reported either ‘Indian’ or ‘Fijian-Indian’ ancestry, while only 20% reported indigenous ‘Fijian’ ancestry. As such, the majority of the Fijian-born population in Australia speak Hindi and practice Hinduism or Islam.