Filipino Culture

Filipinos in Australia

In the post-World War II period, the Refugees Removal Act forced the deportation of Filipinos, among other Asians, who had fled Japanese invasions of their homeland. However, in the 1950s, the relaxation of the White Australia Policy and the introduction of the Colombo Plan saw the arrival of Filipino students. During the 1970s, there was a significant increase of Filipino immigration to Australia. Most Filipino migrants were female spouses of an Australian resident. Soon after, many of the Philippine-born migrants were sponsored by a family member.


In contemporary times, the Philippines has one of the world’s largest diaspora community, in part due to the presence of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). Thus, it is not unusual to find a Filipino wherever one goes. In the Australian context, the Philippines-born and Filipino community is one of the fastest growing in Australia, ranking within the top five migrant populations. Within the last twenty years, many Filipinos have migrated as skilled migrants. Indeed, nearly three-quarters (74.8%) of the Philippines-born population in Australia participate in the labour force, with 38.8% of those being employed in either a skilled managerial, professional or trade occupation.


The Filipino community in Australia often refer to themselves as ‘Filoz’ (a combination of ‘Filipino’ and ‘Aussie’). Most of the Filipino community in Australia speak Filipino or Tagalog at home, and 78.6% identify as Catholic. There are various social and cultural associations that assist new arrivals and the promotion of Filipino culture.

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