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|2,023,474 (by ancestry, 2016) 119,416 (by birth, 2016)|
|English, Scots, Scottish Gaelic|
|Presbyterianism, Roman Catholic|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Scottish people, Anglo-Celtic Australians, Irish Australians, English Australians, Welsh Australians, Manx Australians|
According to the 2016 Australian census, 119,416 Australian residents were born in Scotland, while 2,023,474 claimed Scottish ancestry, either alone or in combination with another ancestry. This is the fourth most commonly nominated ancestry in Australia.
The links between Scotland and Australia stretch back to the first British expedition of the Endeavour under command of Lieutenant James Cook who was himself the son of a Scottish ploughman. Cook navigated and charted the east coast of Australia, making first landfall at Botany Bay on 29 April 1770. His reports in Cook's expedition would lead to British settlement of the continent, and during the voyage Cook also named two groups of Pacific islands in honour of Scotland: New Caledonia and the New Hebrides. The first European to die on Australian soil was a Scot; Forbey Sutherland from Orkney, an able seaman died on 30 April 1770 of consumption and was the first to be buried on the colony by Captain Cook, who named Sutherland Point at Botany Bay in his honour.
|Scotland-born population 2006 - 2011|
|Year||Population||% of total Australian pop.||Ref|
The first Scottish settlers arrived in Australia with the First Fleet in 1788, including three of the first six Governors of New South Wales John Hunter, Lachlan Macquarie (often referred to as the father of Australia)  and Thomas Brisbane. The majority of Scots arriving in the early colonial period were convicts: 8,207 Scottish convicts, of the total 150,000 transported to Australia, made up about 5% of the convict population. The Scottish courts were unwilling to punish crimes deemed to be lesser offences in Scots Law by deportation to Australia. Scottish law was considered more humane for lesser offences than the English and Irish legal systems. Although Scottish convicts had a poor reputation, most were convicted of minor property offences and represented a broad cross-section of Scotland's working classes. As such, they brought a range of useful skills to the colonies.
From 1793–1795, a group of political prisoners later called the 'Scottish Martyrs', were transported to the colonies. They were not all Scots, but had been tried in Scotland. Their plight as victims of oppression was widely reported and the subsequent escape of one of them, Thomas Muir, in 1796 caused a sensation and inspired the poetry of Robert Burns. The majority of immigrants, 'free settlers', in the late 18th century were Lowlanders from prominent wealthy families. Engineers like Andrew McDougall and John Bowman arrived with experience in building corn mills, while others were drawn to Australia by the prospects of trade. William Douglas Campbell, Robert Campbell, Charles Hook, Alexander Berry Laird of the Shoalhaven, were some of the first merchants drawn to the colonies.
At this time, several Scottish regiments were recorded in the colonies: Macquarie's unit or the 73rd Regiment, the Royal North British Fusiliers, and the King's Own Scottish Borderers. Three of the Deputy Commissaries-General (the highest rank in the colony) from 1813 to 1835 were Scots: David Allan, William Lithgow, Stewart.
By 1830 15.11% of the colonies' total population were Scots, which increased by the middle of the century to 25,000, or 20-25% of the total population. The Australian Gold Rush of the 1850s provided a further impetus for Scottish migration: in the 1850s 90,000 Scots immigrated, far higher than other British or Irish populations at the time. Literacy rates of the Scottish immigrants ran at 90-95%. By the 1830s a growing number of Scots from the poorer working classes joined the diaspora. Immigrants included skilled builders, tradesmen, engineers, tool-makers and printers. They settled in commercial and industrial cities, Sydney, Adelaide, Hobart and Melbourne. The migration of skilled workers increased, including bricklayers, carpenters, joiners, and stonemasons. They settled in the colonies of Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and Tasmania.
In the 1840s, Scots-born immigrants constituted 12 percent of the Australian population. Out of the 1.3 million migrants from Britain to Australia in the period from 1861–1914, 13.5 percent were Scots. Much settlement followed the Highland Potato Famine, Highland Clearances and the Lowland Clearances of the mid-19th century. By 1860 Scots made up 50% of the ethnic composition of Western Victoria, Adelaide, Penola and Naracoorte. Other settlements in New south Wales included New England, the Hunter Valley and the Illawarra.
Their preponderance in pastoral industries on the Australian frontier, and in various colonial administrative roles, meant that Scottish migrants were involved in the colonisation of Indigenous Australians throughout the colonial period, including in the dispossession of Indigenous land, the creation of discriminatory administration regimes, and in killings and massacres.
Throughout the 19th century, Scots invested heavily in the industries of the Australian colonies. In the 1820s, the Australian Company of Edinburgh & Leith exported a variety of goods to Australia, but a lack of return cargo led to the company's termination in 1831. The Scottish Australian Investment Company was formed in Aberdeen in 1840, and soon became one of the chief businesses in the colonies, making substantial investments in the pastoral and mining industries. Smaller companies, such as George Russel's Clyde Company and Niel & Company, also had a significant presence in the colonies. Before the 1893 Australian financial crisis, Scotland was the main source of private British loans to Australia.
A steady rate of Scottish immigration continued into the 20th century, with substantial numbers of Scots continuing to arrive after 1945. Between 1910 and 1914, around 9000 Scots arrived each year, and in 1921 the Scottish population of Australia was 109,000. Due to economic decline in Scotland after the First World War, there was an over-representation of Scots among British migrants to Australia during the interwar period, and by 1933 there were 132,000 Scottish migrants living in Australia.
By the 1920s and 1930s, a majority of Scottish migrants in Australia were living in Victoria and New South Wales. The urban working-class background of many British migrants to Australia in the early 20th century meant that Scots were most likely to settle in industrial portside suburbs, especially in Melbourne and Sydney, where they made notable contributions to the shipbuilding industry. In the late-19th and early-20th century, Scottish-born workers had a significant influence in the labour movement, and played key roles in trade unions and the Australian Labor Party, as well as becoming leaders in the Communist Party of Australia. In 1928, a significant delegation of Scottish Australians to Scotland was influential in the opening of a direct trade route between Australia and Glasgow, and by 1932 traders on the Clyde had reported a three-fold increase in imports from Australia and New Zealand.
Today, a strong cultural Scottish presence is evident in the Highland games, dance, Tartan day celebrations, Clan and Gaelic speaking societies found throughout modern Australia. In the early 2000s, the number of Australians claiming to have Scottish ancestry increased almost three-fold; the majority of those who claim Scottish ancestry are third or later generation Australians.
|Scottish ancestry in Australia 1986–2011 (Census)|
|Year||Ethnic group||Population||Percent of pop.||Ref|
According to the 2011 Australian census 133,432 Australian residents were born in Scotland, which was 0.6% of the Australian population. This is the fourth most commonly nominated ancestry and represents over 8.3% of the total population of Australia.
At the 2006 Census 130,205 Australian residents stated that they were born in Scotland. Of these 80,604 had Australian citizenship. The majority of residents, 83,503, had arrived in Australia in 1979 or earlier.
Some aspects of Scottish culture can be found in Australia:
- Bagpiping and pipe bands.
- Burns Supper
- Hogmanay, the Scottish New Year
- Presbyterianism - the majority of Scottish settlers were Presbyterian, some were Roman Catholic or Episcopalian.
- Tartan, some regions of Australia have their own tartan.
- Tartan Day, in Australia, falls on 1 July, the date of the repeal proclamation in 1792 of the Act of Proscription that banned the wearing of Scottish national dress.
Highland gatherings are popular in Australia. Notable gatherings include:
- Bundanoon, New South Wales established in 1976, claimed to be one of the largest Highland Gatherings in the Southern Hemisphere, and the biggest in Australia.
- Maclean, New South Wales first held in 1904. A gathering that attracts pipe bands from all over Australia and includes massed bands, dancing and a street parade.
- Maryborough, Victoria held since 1857 on New Year's Day
The Scots in Australia started a number of schools, some of which are state run, and some of which are private:
- The Scots College, in Bellevue Hill, Sydney, New South Wales.
- Presbyterian Ladies College PLC In Croydon, New South Wales.
- The Scots PGC College, in Warwick, Queensland, formed by the merger of The Scots College, Warwick and The Presbyterian Girls' College.
- The Scots School Albury, in Albury, New South Wales.
- The Scots School, Bathurst, in Bathurst, New South Wales.
- Presbyterian Ladies' College, Armidale PLCA in Armidale, New South Wales.
- Scotch College, Adelaide, in Torrens Park and Mitcham, South Australia.
- Scotch College, Melbourne, in Hawthorn, Victoria.
- Scotch College, Perth, in Swanbourne, Western Australia.
- Presbyterian Ladies College, Perth, in Peppermint Grove, Western Australia
- Scotch College, Launceston, in Tasmania; amalgamated with Oakburn College in 1979 to form Scotch Oakburn College.
- Seymour College, Adelaide, South Australia.
- Bagpipe Uni, Melbourne (George), in Victoria Australia
In Australia, Scottish names make up 17 per cent of all non-Indigenous placenames. Many are of Lowland origins, but Highland names are also common in areas of concentrated Highland settlement. There are also many other landscape features, properties, and streets in Australia with Scottish origins.
Notable Scottish placenames in Australia include:
- Western Australia
- New South Wales
- Northern Territory
- South Australia
- St Kilda
Places named after Lachlan Macquarie
Many places in Australia have been named in Macquarie's honour (some of these were named by Macquarie himself). They include:
At the time of his governorship or shortly thereafter:
- Macquarie Island between Tasmania and Antarctica.
- Lake Macquarie on the coast of New South Wales between Sydney and Newcastle renamed after Macquarie in 1826.
- Macquarie River a significant inland river in New South Wales which passes Bathurst, Wellington, Dubbo and Warren before entering the Macquarie Marshes and the Barwon River.
- Lachlan River, another significant river in New South Wales
- Port Macquarie, a city at the mouth of the Hastings River on the North Coast, New South Wales.
- Macquarie Pass, a route traversing the escarpment between the Illawarra district and the Southern Highlands district of New South Wales.
- Macquarie Rivulet, a river 23 kilometers long which rises near Robertson, New South Wales and drains into Lake Illawarra.
- In Tasmania:
- Macquarie Harbour on the west coast of Tasmania.
- Lachlan a small town named by Sir John Franklin in 1837.
- Macquarie River.
- Macquarie Hill, formerly known as Mount Macquarie, in Wingecarribee Shire, Southern Highlands, New South Wales.
- Macquarie Pass, north-east of Robertson, New South Wales.
Many years after his governorship:
- Macquarie Park and Macquarie Links, suburbs of Sydney.
- Macquarie, a suburb of Canberra, Australia.
- Division of Macquarie, one of the first 75 Divisions of the Australian House of Representatives created for the Australian Parliament in 1901.
Notable Australians of Scottish descent
|Name||Born - Died||Notable for||Connection with Australia||Connection with Scotland|
|John Mackay||1839–1914||Explorer, blackbirder, harbourmaster||Came to Australia in 1854||Born Inverness, Scotland|
|Jimmy Chi||1948–2017||Australian composer, musician and playwright||Born in Australia||Ancestor were Scottish.|
|Isla Fisher||1976–||Holywood Actress||Emigrated to Australia from Scotland in 1982 with her family and was raised in Perth, Western Australia||Born to Scottish parents in Muscat, Oman and spent her early childhood years in Bathgate, Scotland.|
|Jordan Smith||1989–||actor||Arrived in 2003||Born and raised in Fife, Scotland. He emigrated to Australia from Scotland at age 14 with his family, where he later became an actor, best known for playing Andrew Robinson in the Australian soap opera Neighbours.|
|Captain James Cook||1728–1779||cartographer, navigator and Captain of the Endeavour who made first land fall at Botany Bay and named New South Wales.||arrived on the Endeavour in 1770||Son of a Scottish ploughman|
|Air Chief Marshal Allan Grant "Angus" Houston, AC, AFC||1947–||A retired senior officer of the Royal Australian Air Force.||He served as Chief of Air Force (CAF) from 20 June 2001 and then as the Chief of the Defence Force (CDF) from 4 July 2005. He retired from the military on 3 July 2011. Since then Houston has been appointed to a number of positions, including chairman of Airservices Australia. In March 2014 he was appointed to head the Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC) during the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.||Houston was born on 9 June 1947 in Ayrshire, Scotland and educated at Strathallan School in Forgandenny, Perthshire, Scotland. He emigrated to Australia in 1968 at age 21.|
|James Boag I||1804–1890||Founder of Boag's Brewery in Tasmania||Emigrated 1853, settled in Tasmania after some time on the Victorian Gold Fields. Founder and proprietor of J. Boag & Sons, owner of the Boag's Brewery in Launceston, Tasmania, Australia.||Born Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland.|
|Robert McCracken||1813–1885||Brewer and founder of the Essendon Football Club in 1873||Emigrated from Ardwell Farm near Girvan in Ayrshire, Scotland in 1840. The Essendon Club was formed at a meeting at his family home "Ailsa" at Ascot Vale .||Born Ayrshire, Scotland.|
|Keith Ross Miller||1919–2004||Legendary Australian Test cricketer and St Kilda and Victoria, Australian Rules Footballer||A member of Bradmans 1948 Australian cricket 'Invincibles' touring team to England||His paternal and maternal grandparents were Scottish.|
|Dave Bryden||1928–2013||Australian Rules Footballer||A member of the 1954 Footscray now Western Bulldogs premiership team||His father was Scottish.|
|Andrew McLeod||1976–||Australian Rules Footballer||A champion player with the Adelaide Crows Football Club, Andrew played in their 1997 and 1998 AFL Premiership teams, winning two Norm Smith Medals||The pride he feels for his Indigenous Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander as well as his Scottish heritage is reflected in Jamie Cooper's oil painting of him in action, during a game. Indigenous Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islands and Scottish flags proudly wave amongst the crowd.|
|Roy Cazaly||1893–1963||Australian Rules Footballer||Roy Cazaly was a champion ruckman who played for St Kilda (1909–1920) and then South Melbourne (1921–1926). His teammate's constant cry of 'Up there Cazaly' entered the Australian idiom and became part of folk-lore'.||His mother was Elizabeth Jemima, née McNee from Scotland.|
|Thomas Brisbane||1773–1860||sixth governor of New South Wales||appointed governor in 1821||born near Largs in Ayrshire; educated at University of Edinburgh|
|John Hunter||1737–1821||second governor of New South Wales||arrived with the First Fleet in 1788||born in Leith|
|Rt Hon. Andrew Fisher||1862–1928||Prime Minister three times, the most successful of Australia's early politicians and started the Commonwealth Bank.||arrived in Queensland 1885||born at Crosshouse, Ayrshire, Scotland.|
|Rt Hon. John Malcolm Fraser||1930–2015||Prime Minister.||Born Australia||Father was Scottish|
|Forby Sutherland||c. 1741–1770||The first British born national to be buried in Australia by Captain Cook on his voyage on the Endeavour.||arrived on the Endeavour in 1770||born Orkney Islands Scotland|
|James Busby||1801–1871||Grew up in Australia and was key to the peace treaty and negotiations between the British and the united tribes of the Maori in New Zealand.||arrived in 1824||born Edinburgh|
|James Grant||1772–1833||British Royal Navy officer who was the first to sail through Bass Strait from west to east, charting the then unknown coastline and the first European to land on Phillip Island where the south west point is named after him, and Churchill Island.||Arrived in Australia 1800||Born Morayshire Scotland|
|William Balmain||1762–1803||Naval surgeon who sailed as an assistant surgeon with the First Fleet to establish the first European settlement in Australia, and later became its principal surgeon.||arrived Port Jackson in January 1788||From Rhynd Perthshire Scotland|
|Peter Miller Cunningham||1789–1864||Scottish naval surgeon and pioneer in Australia.||Arrived in 1819||from Dumfriesshire Scotland|
|Robert Campbell||1982–||Australian Rules footballer.||Born in Australia||Ancestors were Scottish.|
|Elle Macpherson||1964–||Australian supermodel, actress and business woman.||Born in Australia||ancestors from Scotland.|
|Sir Francis Forbes||1784–1841||The first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of New South Wales.||Arrived 1820||Parents were Scottish|
|John Murray||1827–1876||Lieutenant in the Native Police force.||Arrived in Australia 1843||born Langholm, Scotland|
|William Lithgow||1784–1864||The Auditor General of the colony of Sydney in Australia. The city of Lithgow in New South Wales was named in honour.||arrived in Sydney 1824||Born Scotland|
|Colonel William Paterson||1755–1810||A Scottish soldier, explorer, and botanist best known for leading early settlement in Tasmania.||Arrived to Australia 1789||born Montrose Scotland|
|Charles Frazer||1788–1831||The colonial Botanist of New South Wales who collected and catalogued numerous Australian plant species, and participated in a number of exploring expeditions.||arrived in 1815||from Blair Atholl Perthshire Scotland|
|Andrew McDougall||1983–||Australian Rules footballer.||born Australia||ancestors were Scottish|
|Rod Wishart||1968–||An Australian former rugby league footballer who played for Illawarra Steelers, St. George Illawarra Dragons, New South Wales and Australia.||born Australia||ancestors were Scottish|
|James Alpin McPherson||1842–1895||explorer and bush ranger, best known as the 'Wild Scotchman'.||arrived in 1855||born Inverness-shire Scotland|
|Paul McGregor||1967–||An Australian rugby league footballer, he played for the Illawarra Steelers and, St George Illawarra Dragons and has represented New South Wales in the State of Origin and the Australian national rugby league team.||Born Australia||ancestors were Scottish|
|George Reid||1845–1918||Prime Minister of Australia||arrived Victoria 1852||born Renfrewshire|
|Sir Thomas Livingstone Mitchell||1792–1855||Surveyor-General and explorer.||Arrived 1811||from Stirlingshire Scotland|
|Andrew Petrie||1798–1872||An Engineer who made important contributions as a private builder and was the first white Australian to climb Mount Beerwah.||Arrived 1831||born Fife Scotland|
|Alexander McLeay||1767–1848||Appointed Colonial Secretary for New South Wales and was the foundation president of the Australian Club.||arrived with family in 1826||born Ross-shire Scotland|
|Margie Abbott||1958–||Spouse of the Prime Minister of Australia and wife of Tony Abbott.||born in New Zealand and emigrated to Australia||Scottish ancestry from both her parents|
|Campbell Drummond Riddell||1796–1858||Public servant who served as Colonial Treasurer.||Arrived Sydney 1830||born Argyllshire, Scotland|
|John Murray||1775–1807||Scottish naval officer, seaman and explorer, who also made a marked contribution to medicine.||arrived 1800||born Edinburgh|
|Sir Charles Menzies||1783–1866||Officer of marines who became the first commandant at Newcastle secondary Penal establishment.||arrived 1810||born at Bal Freike, Perthshire, Scotland|
|Patrick Logan||1791–1830||The first Commandant at Moreton Bay and regarded by many historians as the true founder of Queensland||arrived Sydney 1825||from Berwickshire Scotland|
|John Stephen||1771–1833||The first Puisne Judge of New South Wales who also became the first Solicitor-General.||arrived 1824||born Aberdeen Scotland|
|Robert Brown||1773–1858||A botanist who made extensive collections during Flinders' coastal surveys. Held in high regard by his contemporaries, he received numerous academic honours and made several major discoveries in his subject, including molecular agitation now called 'Brownian movement'.||arrived 1800||from Aberdeen Scotland|
|Francis Melville||1822–1857||Francis McCallum, calling himself Captain Francis Melville and posing as a gentleman, he reached Victoria about October 1851. He became a bushranger and claimed leadership of the Mount Macedon gang.||arrived in the 1830s||born Inverness-shire|
|James Macpherson Grant||1822–1885||A politician and prosperous Melbourne solicitor, who became vice-president of the land and works board and commissioner of railways and roads in 1864.||arrived 1850||born Scotland|
|John Flynn (minister)||1880–1951||Presbyterian minister and aviator who founded the Royal Flying Doctor Service, the world's first air ambulance. Appears on the Australian $20 dollar note||Born Melbourne, Victoria.||Minister of the Church of Scotland|
|Catherine Helen Spence||1825–1910||Author, teacher, journalist, politician (Australia's first female political candidate) and leading suffragette. Appears on the Australian $5 dollar note||Emigrated to South Australia in 1839||Born Melrose Scotland|
|John Dunmore Lang||1799–1878||Presbyterian clergyman, writer, politician and activist||arrived Australia 1823 and lived there since that time||born Scotland|
|Mary Gilmore||1865–1962||A prominent Australian socialist, poet and journalist. Appears on the Australian $10 dollar note||born New South Wales||Family were from Scotland|
|Andrew Barton Paterson||1864–1941||Composer of Australia's most widely known country folk song, Waltzing Matilda features on the Australian $10 dollar note||born Orange, New South Wales||Father was Andrew Bogle Paterson, a Scottish immigrant from Lanarkshire.|
|Lachlan Macquarie||1762–1824||fifth governor of New South Wales||appointed governor in 1809 (often referred to as the Father of Australia)||born on the island of Ulva off the coast of the Isle of Mull; buried on the Isle of Mull|
|Thomas Mitchell||1792–1855||surveyor and explorer||arrived Australia 1827||born Scotland|
|Nellie Melba||1861–1931||legendary Australian opera soprano and one of the most famous sopranos, and the first Australian to achieve international recognition in the form. Appears on the Australian $100 dollar note||Born in Melbourne Victoria||Father was a Scottish building contractor|
|John McDouall Stuart||1815–1866||surveyor and the most accomplished and most famous of all Australia's inland explorers||arrived Australia 1845||born Dysart, Fife Scotland|
|David Lennox||1788–1873||Australian bridge builder, responsible for the construction of historic Lansdowne Bridge over Prospect Creek, Lennox Bridge over the Parramatta River and Lennox Bridge over Brookside Creek at Lapstone as well as a further fifty-three bridges in Victoria||arrived 1832 in New South Wales||born Ayr Scotland|
|Peter Dodds McCormick||1834?–1916||composer of the Australian national anthem Advance Australia Fair||arrived Australia 1855||born Port Glasgow|
|Bill Dundee||1943–||Professional wrestler||arrived Australia 1959||born Dundee|
|Bon Scott||1946–1980||AC/DC vocalist||arrived Australia 1952||born Kirriemuir|
|Angus Young||1955–||AC/DC guitarist||arrived Australia 1963||born Glasgow|
|Malcolm Young||1953–2017||AC/DC guitarist||arrived Australia 1963||born Glasgow|
|George Young (rock musician)||1947–||Easybeats guitarist||arrived Australia 1963||born Glasgow|
|Colin Hay||1953–||Men at Work vocalist||arrived Australia 1967||born North Ayrshire|
|Sean Wight||1964–||Australian rules footballer||arrived Australia mid-1980s||born in Scotland|
|Roseanna Cunningham||1951–||Scottish National Party politician serving as a Member of the Scottish Parliament||Raised in Perth, Australia||born in Glasgow|
|Mary MacKillop||1842–1909||Roman Catholic nun only Australian to be beatified||Born Fitzroy, Victoria||Daughter of Scottish immigrants|
|Mary, Crown Princess of Denmark||1972–||Crown Princess of Denmark||Born Hobart, Tasmania||Scottish father. Née Mary Donaldson.|
|Robert Menzies||1894–1978||Prime Minister of Australia||Born Jeparit, Victoria||Scottish grandparents.|
|Ralph Abercrombie||1881–1957||public servant who became auditor-general for the Commonwealth.||born Mount Duneed Victoria||Father was Scottish|
|Doug Cameron||1951-||Australian Labor Party politician who served as Senator for New South Wales 2008-2019||arrived in 1973||born Bellshill, Scotland|
|Kaiya Jones||1996–||actress||arrived in 2004||born Glasgow, Scotland|
|Jamie Young||1985–||Footballer||Born in Brisbane||Of Scottish descent|
|Jackson Irvine||1993–||Footballer||Born in Melbourne. Began career with Scottish-Australian club Frankston Pines and plays for the Australian national football team||Father is Scottish. Played for Celtic F.C. in the Scottish Premiership|
|Miranda Kerr||1983–||Model||Born in Sydney. She was a Victoria's Secret Angel from 2007–2012.||Kerr stated that her ancestry is mostly English, with smaller amounts of Scottish and French.|
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