This month marks the 65th year anniversary of the very first Australian Citizenship Convention and ceremony.
Screen Grab from Australian Department of Immigration Facebook Page
I got curious and was researching and trying to find out the name of the first ever Filipino granted Australian citizenship but to no avail. Can’t find it anywhere, but what I found is a very interesting information on the history of Philippine born Filipinos migrating to Australia. I thought it’s worth sharing.
It turned out that there are 3 waves of migration that started over 100 years ago. So this current trend of Filipinos coming down under is not so current after all. Pinoys have been wandering down under for a while now!
According to the data of http://www.dcm.nt.gov.au/ , the first wave of Filipino migrants came to Australian Northern territory to work as divers and processors for pearl farms. They are predominantly from Central and Southern Philippines and were called “ManilaMen” . This first wave of migration is very minimal because of the “White Australian Policy” that prevented none European descent from settling permanently in Australia. This is probably the reason why 1901 census has reported only 700 Filipinos in Australia.
Around 1970, the White Australian Policy has been abolished. This change paved way to the 2nd wave of Filipinos seeking greener pasture and opportunities in Australia. The political environment around this time in the Philippines (Martial Law era) also contributed to Filipinos seeking to leave somewhere else. Most of this 2nd wave happened around Darwin and Alice Springs where Filipino teachers found opportunity provided by the Commonwealth Teaching Services.
The 3rd wave, that I think extends up to the present, is stimulated by the Australian Government’s Family Reunion and Marriage Visa Scheme. This gave way to the family and partners of Northern Territory Australian to migrate to Australia which resulted to the extension of the Filipino Community.
Today, a lot of Filipino professionals come with their families on Skilled Migrant Visas. Any skills raging from Engineering, Mechanical, Information Technology , Science, Education and Heath Care , where Filipinos excel, is in demand in Australia.
According to 2011 Census there are 171,233 Philippine Borne Filipinos residing in Australia.
Filipinos In Australia in Numbers (2011 Census)
It is also worth mentioning that there is a growing number of young Filipino students coming to Australia to get an Australian education. These students may or may not go back to the Philippines and will contribute in the increasing number of Pinoys or Australians with Filipino descent.
Ok, now that this is done and we know more about our history of migration here down under, I will continue my search for the very first Filipino given an Australian Citizenship. Let me know if you know where to get this info.