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Australia’s original migration plan involved attracting settlers from Europe on account of a good culture match. Other targets included Germany, Italy, France, and Greece. The first German immigrants arrived in the 19th Century. By the time the 20th Century arrived, their numbers amounted to 38,352. The first German translation services were established, with offices in major Australian cities.
The peak was in the 1950’s when approximately 4,000 Germans arrived each year. Since then, numbers have gradually decreased, no doubt at least in part on account of Germany’s recovery from the depredations of war.
However Australian demand for German-speaking people remains strong because they make a unique contribution.
In recent decades, Australia has moved from regarding itself as a European appendage, towards taking its place in the family of Asian nations. Lower transport costs have made this greatly beneficial for reciprocal trade.
The Australian Government has announced that, for the first time ever, Indians have become top Australian migrants at 29,019 a year, eclipsing Britain that slipped to second place (23,164) with China earning silver at 21,768. This is a reflection at least in part of the Government’s policy of establishing on-shore Asian export businesses, and of its success in implementing this.
Germany continues to be a vital source of technical skills and a large market for Australia’s agricultural exports too. We’ve recently taken on an additional German NAATI translator just to cope with increased demand.