Portuguese Australians
Total population
61,885 (2016)[1]
Regions with significant populations
Sydney, Perth, Melbourne, Adelaide, Canberra
Related ethnic groups

Portuguese Australians refers to Australians of Portuguese descent or Portuguese-born people living in Australia.

Despite their rather modest number compared to the Greek and Italian communities, Portuguese Australians form a very organised, self-conscious and active community in many fields of Australian life. With a population spread over many parts of the continent, sporting teams, social clubs,[2] radio shows,[3] newspapers,[4] outdoor cultural festivals,[5] culinary feasts, and even a traditional ethnic neighbourhood, the ever-growing Portuguese Australians form roughly 0.26% of Australia's population in 2016. The biggest Portuguese Australian community is in Petersham, Sydney: but there are other communities around Australia such as Melbourne,[6] Wollongong, Newcastle and Perth.[7][8] There are also communities present, to a lesser extent, in Brisbane,[9][10] Adelaide and Darwin.[11] At the time of the 2016 census, there were 61,885 Portuguese migrants and Australians with Portuguese heritage living in Australia.[1]

Portuguese cuisine has also made its way into mainstream Australian society, with the fast expansion and establishment of restaurant and fast food outlets such as "Nando's", "Oporto" and "Ogalo" to confirm its success. The Portuguese "pastel de nata" is a very popular delicacy in Australia and is commonly found throughout the country.

One of the most high-visibility moments for the Portuguese community was in 2005, when António Milhinhos, a shopkeeper from Darwin, was awarded the Senior Australian of the Year Award for his outstanding charity works and continuous catastrophe relief since 1983.[12]


In New South Wales

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A wave of post-war immigrants migrated from Europe to Sydney, in particular the Portuguese, who settled in the inner-city areas of Petersham (sometimes considered Australia's largest Portuguese enclave) and Surry Hills.

In Victoria

Portugal’s links with Australia may extend as far back as the sixteenth century, predating Captain Cook's voyage to Australia by 250 years. Some evidence suggests that Portuguese explorers were the first Europeans to visit Australia.

Three hundred years later, a few Portuguese were among the earliest settlers in Australia. Emanuel and Ana Serrão and their infant daughter arrived in Sydney in 1824, and moved to Warrnambool with their family in 1852. Few followed, and by 1901 only 86 Victorians were Portugal-born. Males made up 90% of the community.

The Portugal-born population in Victoria declined in the early twentieth century, and by 1933, only 12 were recorded in the census.

While the post-war migration boom had little effect on the Portuguese population of Victoria, the late 1960s saw the beginning of a dramatic increase in immigration. After the Portuguese colonial wars in Angola and Mozambique ended in 1974, and the former Portuguese colony of East Timor was invaded by Indonesian troops in 1975, more ethnic Portuguese immigrants settled in Victoria. The number of immigrants from Portugal also increased, from 131 in 1966 to 2,335 in 1986.

By 2016, 2,727 Portugal-born migrants were living in Victoria. The Portuguese community in Victoria today also includes people from the former Portuguese colonies of Macau, East Timor, Cape Verde, Mozambique, Angola, Goa and Brazil.

Members of the Portugal-born community today are predominantly employed as tradespeople and workers within the manufacturing and construction industries. Almost three-quarters still speak Portuguese at home.

The community is supported by organizations including the Portuguese Community Council of Australia, which serves as an umbrella organization for all Portuguese people in Australia. Portuguese language radio programs, language classes and sporting clubs help maintain the community in Victoria. Events such as performances by Madeira Folk Dancing provide an opportunity for the wider community to appreciate the rich, vibrant Portuguese culture.[13]

In Western Australia

Portuguese migrants from the islands of Madeira settled in Fremantle in Western Australia in the 1950s and established a fishing community which, by the mid-1980s, had grown to about 6,000 people, including their descendants.[14] Since then, Perth and Western Australia in general have been a frequent destination for Portuguese students and skilled labor, and although no mass-migration has occurred, the Portuguese population is still prevalent in the state. John Da Silva, the founder and owner of Bell-Vista vegetables, one of Western Australia's biggest vegetable provider migrated to Fremantle in the Portuguese migrant wave to that area in the 1960s.[15]

Portuguese Australians

Further information: Category:Australian people of Portuguese descent

Name Birth and Death Occupation Notes
Isaac de Gois 1984– Rugby league player Portuguese descent
Diogo Ferreira 1989– Football (soccer) player Portuguese descent
Jessica Gomes 1985– Model Portuguese descent[16][17][18][19]
Moisés Henriques 1987– Cricket player Portuguese-born, Portuguese descent
Stephanie Jacobsen 1980– Actress Portuguese descent[20]
Charles Kingston 1850–1908 Politician Portuguese descent
Maria Korp 1955-2005 Murder victim Portuguese descent
Madison de Rozario 1993– Paralympic athlete Portuguese descent
Nicole da Silva 1981– Actress Portuguese descent
Daniel De Silva 1997- Footballer Portuguese descent
Guy Sebastian 1981 - Singer Portuguese descent
Joel Adams (Né Gonçalves) 1996 - Singer Portuguese descent
James Sorensen 1986 - Model/Actor Portuguese descent
Naomi Sequeira 1994 - Actress/ Singer Portuguese descent
Kate DeAraugo 1985 - Singer Portuguese descent
David Malouf 1934 - Writer Portuguese-jewish descent
Lisa De Vanna 1984 - Footballer Portuguese descent
Junie Morosi 1933 - Businesswoman Portuguese descent
Josh Mansour 1990 - Rugby league player Portuguese descent
Jonathan Guerreiro 1991 - Ice dancer Portuguese descent
Sophie Masson 1959 - Writer Portuguese descent
Priya Serrao 1992 - Miss Universe Australia 2019 Portuguese descent
Wilson Da Silva ? Science journalist, writer Brazilian-born, Portuguese descent
Irina Dunn 1948 - Politician Portuguese descent
Andrew Coelho 1987 - Tennis player Portuguese descent
Danny Fulalo 1994 - Rugby league player Portuguese descent
Corey Gameiro 1993 - Footballer Portuguese descent
Ian Goodenough 1975 - Politician Portuguese descent
Diana da Costa Neves 1987 - Basketball player. Portuguese descent
David Pereira 1953 - Classical cellist Portuguese descent
Paulo Retre 1993 - Footballer Portuguese descent
Lyndsey Rodrigues 1981 - TV host, actress Portuguese descent
Chris Sebastian 1988 - Singer/Songwriter Portuguese descent
Ivo Dos Santos 1985 - Olympic judoka Portuguese-born, Portuguese descent
R. A. de Castro Basto 1898-1980 Doctor Portuguese descent

See also


  1. ^ a b "2071.0 Census of Population and Housing: Reflecting Australia - Stories from the Census, 2016 - Cultural Diversity". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 14 February 2022.
  2. ^ "List of numerous Portuguese Social Clubs and institutions based in Australia (Portuguese)"
  3. ^ "SBS Radio – Portuguese Archived 2009-06-24 at the Wayback Machine"
  4. ^ "Portuguese Consulate – New South Wales"
  5. ^ "Portuguese Festival at Petersham, Sydney – Youtube"
  6. ^ "Portuguese Association of Victoria Archived 2009-10-13 at the Wayback Machine"
  7. ^ "Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade – Australian Government Archived 14 October 2010 at the Wayback Machine"
  8. ^ "Portuguese Consulate – Western Australia Archived 13 October 2009 at the Wayback Machine"
  9. ^ "The Brisbane Portuguese Family Center (Portuguese) Archived 2008-01-20 at the Wayback Machine"
  10. ^ "The Brisbane Portuguese Family Center (Portuguese) Archived 2008-04-12 at the Wayback Machine"
  11. ^ "Department of the Chief Minister, Northern Territory – Australian Government Archived 2009-05-15 at the Wayback Machine" (PDF)
  12. ^ "Australian of the Year Awards Archived 2009-07-05 at the Wayback Machine"
  13. ^ "Immigration History from Portugal to Victoria Archived 27 November 2020 at the Wayback Machine"
  14. ^ "Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade – Australian Government Archived 14 October 2010 at the Wayback Machine"
  15. ^ "Bell-Vista Fruit and Vegetables"
  16. ^ "#IAm Jessica Gomes Story". Archived from the original on 21 December 2021. Retrieved 16 March 2016 – via YouTube.
  17. ^ Cullum, Paul. "Jessica Gomes: A Beauty Below the Surface". Ocean Drive. Retrieved 16 March 2016.
  18. ^ "Jessica Gomes is in step – Korean dance star spot". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 16 March 2016.
  19. ^ Hellard, Peta (10 September 2005). "Tomboy walks tall". Sunday Times. Perth Now. Archived from the original on 29 September 2008. Retrieved 16 March 2016.
  20. ^ "An exclusive INTERVIEW with STEPHANIE JACOBSEN, the star of "Razor"!". tv.com. Retrieved 16 March 2016.