The first Malta-born migrants arrived in Australia as convicts in 1810 as a part of the British colony. In the post-WWII period, the Maltese were offered assisted migrant passage to Australia. A majority of the Maltese migrants who came were semi-skilled or unskilled workers seeking refuge from poor socioeconomic conditions. During this time period, industrial centres – particularly Melbourne and Sydney – became the major areas of Maltese settlement.
In contemporary times, Melbourne and Sydney continue to be the main population centres of the Maltese community. A vast majority of the Maltese community identify as Catholic (91.6%). The number of Maltese in Australia is expected to decline over the coming years as the community ages and many Maltesereturn to their homeland. There are concerns within the community regarding the maintenance of language and cultural heritage among the growing second- and third-generation of Maltese migrants. In turn, there continue to be many organisations throughout Australia (mainly in Victoria) that assist in maintaining the legacy of Maltese history, language, music and religion.