South Korean Culture

South Koreans in Australia

Up until 1991, both South and North Koreans were counted as ‘Korean' in the Australian census. The Korean population in Australia was quite low up until the late 1960s when the White Australia Policy was softened. At the end of the Vietnam War (1975), many Koreans working for military contract firms moved to Australia. Some were granted permanent residency status and an increase in sponsored migration. From 1986 to 1991, there was a significant rise in Korean migrants, many coming under the skilled and business migration categories.

 

More than half of the Korea-born population settled in Australia has arrived within the last ten years. This includes students seeking educational opportunities in Australia. According to the 2016 census, just over half (53.9%) of the Korea-born population who are employed work in either a skilled managerial, professional or trade occupations. Indeed, families often work together in small business and will pool their capital together to purchase a home, particularly in Victoria.

 

Over three-quarters of the Korea-born population identifies with some form of Christianity (82.8%). Within Australia, many members often see Korean churches as a focal point of Korean culture and assists in maintaining traditions through dance, language, and cuisine. The Korean community also flourishes through language schools, Korean language broadcasts on SBS and the several Korean magazines and newspapers around the country.

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