A History of Koreans in Australia
Australia’s relations with South Korea primarily date from the time of the Korean War. The Australian War Memorial reports that “From 1950-53, 17,000 Australians in the Army, Navy and Air Force fought as part of the United Nations (UN) multinational force, defending South Korea from the Communist force of North Korea.”
The Memorial further reports that during the war “Australian casualties numbered more than 1,500, of whom 339 were killed. Almost half a million South Koreans died as a result of the war”.
Following Australia’s war contributions in South Korean, South Koreans began to study in and migrate to Australia. The Australian Department of Social Services notes that “After the Korean War (1950-53), some Korean women came to Australia as war brides and children as orphans, adopted by Australian families. The relaxation of immigration restrictions in the late 1960s provided the first opportunity for larger numbers of Koreans to enter Australia. In 1969, the first Korean immigrants arrived in Sydney under the Skilled Migration Program. However, there were only 468 Korea born recorded as living in Australia at the time of the 1971 Census.”
South Koreans in Australia Today
The number of South Koreans in Australia has increased over the years. The 2011 census “recorded 74 538 Republic of (South) Korea-born people in Australia, an increase of 41.3 per cent from the 2006 Census. The 2011 distribution by state and territory showed New South Wales had the largest number with 41 819 followed by Queensland (12 552), Victoria (10 192) and Western Australia (4098).” Source: The Australian Department of Social Services.
The 2016 Australian census recorded that “123,017 persons resident in Australia identified themselves as being of Korean ancestry. 98,776 persons resident in Australia had been born in South Korea. At the 2006 census, 59 persons residing in Australia had been born in North Korea.” Source: Wikipedia
Korean Students in Australia
“ Korea is Australia’s 3rd largest source country for international students with over 30,000 enrolments in 2016. More than half are studying in the vocational education and training sector, which has seen strong growth since 2012.
“ Australia is the 2nd most popular English-speaking country, after the US, for Korean students to study abroad in the higher education sector including language training.
“ The number of students studying Korean in Australia has been increasing gradually. Currently over 10,000 students study Korean as a foreign language in Australian schools and universities.”
Source: Australian Department of Education and Training.
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