Samoan Culture

Samoans in Australia

In the early 19th century, a small number of Samoans migrated to Australia due to perceived commercial and educational opportunities. In the 1850s, Wesleyan Christian missionaries from Australia began to visit Samoa. This led to Samoan pastors travelling to Australia for training and work. In the early 20th century, the White Australia Policy restricted immigration from Samoa. However, Australia was establishing trading companies in Samoa during this time. This resulted in a small number of Samoans migrating to Australia.


In the 1970s, educational programs sponsored by Australia increased the number of Samoans migrating. In contemporary Australia, the size of the Samoan community may be underestimated due to migration via New Zealand. A combination of Christian beliefs and Samoan traditions underpin community life of the Samoan community in Australia. Many continue to share Samoan music, dance and oral literature with others in the Samoan community as well as broader Australia.

Cultural Competence Program
Cultural Competence Program Logo

Join over 300 organisations already creating a better workplace

Find out more
Download this Cultural Profile

Too busy to read it right now?

You can download this cultural profile in an easy-to-read PDF format that can be printed out and accessed at any time.

Samoa
  • Population
    198,926
    [July 2016 est.]
  • Language
    Samoan (official)
    English
  • Religion
    Protestant Christianity (57.4%)
    Roman Catholic Christianity (19.4%)
    Mormonism (15.2%)
    Worship Centre (1.7%)
    Other Christianity (5.5%)
    Other Religion (0.7%)
    No Religion (0.1%)
    Unspecified (0.1%)
    [2011 est.]
  • Ethnicity
    Samoan (92.6%)
    Euronesians (persons with European and Polynesian heritage) (7.0%)
    Europeans (0.4%)
    [Census, 2001]
  • Australians with Samoan Ancestry
    75,755 [Census, 2016]
Samoans in Australia
  • Population
    24,017
    [Census, 2016]
    This figure refers to the number of Australian residents that were born in Samoa.
  • Median Age
    45
    [Census, 2016]
  • Gender
    Male (49.5%)
    Female (50.5%)
    [Census, 2016]
  • Religion
    Catholic Christianity (21.4%)
    Christian [not defined] (16.4%)
    Church of the Latter-Day Saints (13.6%)
    Pentecostal Christianity (8.3%)
    Other Religion (29.9%)
    No Religion (4.7%)
    Not Stated (5.1%)
    [Census, 2016]
  • Ancestry
    Samoan (67.4%)
    German (6.9%)
    English (6.4%)
    Chinese (4.8%)
    Other Ancestry (14.5%)
    [Census, 2016]
  • Language Spoken at Home
    Samoan (84.9%)
    English (13.0%)
    Tokelauan (0.1%)
    Other (0.7%)
    Of those who speak a language other than English at home, 86.9% speak English fluently.
    [Census, 2016]
  • Diaspora
    New South Wales (37.6%)
    Queensland (32.5%)
    Victoria (25.8%)
    Western Australia (2.2%)
    Other (1.6%)
    [Census, 2016]
  • Arrival to Australia
    Prior to 2007 (57.5%)
    2007 - 2011 (15.2%)
    2012 - 2016 (22.6%)
    [Census, 2016]
Country https://dtbhzdanf36fd.cloudfront.net/countries/232/ws.svg Flag Country Samoa