Russian Culture

Russians in Australia

The first Russian settler to arrive in Australia came in 1804 as a convict. However, there was relatively minimal Russian migration until the late 18th and early 19th century. Major waves of Russian arrivals then coincided with key political periods and uprisings in Russia (e.g. the Bolshevik Revolution). A third influx occurred during the hostilities of the post-war period (1947-1952) as many Russians left refugee camps throughout Europe. 


The largest number of arrivals occurred from 1990 onwards, surrounding the time of the dissolution of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). During this period, arrivals increased dramatically. According to the 2011 census, roughly 70% of Russian-born people in Australia have arrived since. However, it is important to note that not all people who identify as Russian were born there. There were many ethnic Russians living in other republics of the former Soviet Union who arrived to Australia during the same time of political upheaval. As such, the Russian community in Australia includes many from Ukraine, Latvia, etc.


While 80% of the Russian community continues to speak Russian at home, they generally have a good understanding of English (83% speak it fluently). Many Russian-born people are employed in professional fields. Over 75% of those over the age of 15 having some form of higher non-school qualification. Most Russians living in Australia are female (62.7%). 


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