Macedonians in Australia
Macedonians have migrated to Australia in multiple waves over the last 100 years. Many arrived in the 1920s and 1930s, and later as displaced persons during and after the Greek Civil War (1944-1949). Further migration occurred during the late 1960s and early 1970s when Macedonians came to Australia either sponsored by their families or as economic migrants. Those who were part of this migrant group tended to be slightly better educated. Many skilled professionals continued to migrate to Australia during the late 1980s and 1990s due to the lack of political stability in former Yugoslavia. Like most European migrant populations, the North Macedonia-born population throughout Australia has been slowly decreasing, due to ageing, some return migration and a lack of new arrivals. However, the Macedonian community has been steadily growing as second-generation migrants are now also having children.
It is generally acknowledged that statistics based on citizenship or country of birth do not truly reflect the number of people who identify as Macedonian. People in Australia who identify as Macedonian may come from the Republic of North Macedonia, northern Greece (Aegean Macedonia), Bulgaria (Pirin Macedonia) and Albania (Mala Prespa). For some immigrants from northern Greece, moving to Australia has given them the freedom to express their Macedonian identity, which they were unable to do in their home country due to tensions between the two nations. Indeed, the Australian of Macedonians has played a critical role in forming and preserving their identity. Australia also has a substantial community of Macedonian activists that seek local and global recognition of the legitimacy of North Macedonia and support of its position in disputes with neighbouring countries.
Not all people who identify as Macedonian can read in their native language, and older generations may have low literacy levels in both English and Macedonian. However, many try to maintain their culture by continuing to speak their native language at home. The Macedonian population in Australia generally remains very patriotic. Traditional rivalries and divisions among Macedonians have receded within the Australian community in recent years. However, some political and identity issues may persist.
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