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Centre of Migration Research

Katarzyna Kwapisz-Williams, Stefan Markowski. 2013.

Australian Polonia: A Diaspora on the Wane?


Central and Eastern European Migration Review, vol. 2, nr 1 | pages: 13-36


As a country of immigration, Australia is an interesting laboratory of the dynamics of migrant settlement, diaspora development and sustainment. In this paper we discuss the Polish immigrant community in Australia: Australian Polonia, which is an example of a community of permanent settlers who blended into the Australian host community but retained enough elements of their distinct identity to be considered a part of the Polish emigrant diaspora. This is a traditional diaspora in that it largely excludes temporary migrants. We explore the nature of its attachment to Poland and Polish culture, and discuss the multiple identities of these migrants. The research question that we ask is: in what sense do members of Australian Polonia, ‘belong’ to the Polish diaspora, i.e. how are they attached to ‘things Polish’? Our sources of information include official statistics, mainly the Census of Population (2011), and a survey of Australian Polonia conducted in 2006.


Australia, citizenship, diaspora, ethnic community, nationality, Polonia