The Changing Face of Australia

The Changing Face of Australia

New information from Sensis, the publisher of the White Pages in Australia, has highlighted the increasing popularity of non-Anglo Saxon surnames in New South Wales (NSW), the most populous state of Australia.

And the change is not a small one.

The Daily Telegraph, one of the major daily newspapers in NSW, has reported that 7 of the top 20 surnames in NSW have Asian roots – a sign of the changing face of Australia.

Those surnames, Lee, Nguyen, Chen, Kim, Wang, Zhang and Li, will finally help the rest of the world understand what many Australians already know and love – the fact that Australia is no longer a white, Anglo-Saxon colony in the middle of the South Pacific.

Rather it is a multicultural country which brings together the best of its European heritage and the Asian neighbours its shares geography with.

It could be said that  NSW is only one of the 6 states and 2 territories that make up mainland Australia, therefore the information is not relevant to the rest of the country, however NSW is the most popular port of immigration into the country and has the highest rate of outbound migration to other states.

That means it is highly likely that this change will be replicated throughout the rest of the country.

With the 2011 Australian Census due to be held on August 9, it will be interesting to see if that is, in fact, the case.


The email address is kept private and will not be shown

  • Margaret Hornagold

    August 7, 2011

    There is also an older history and that is of the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander peoples of Australia. Many of us are tracking our family genealogy but it is hard because of the policies of former governments in removing people and changing their names or giving them entirely new names. The earliest most of us can go back to is the 1800’s as prior to this there were no written records but the oral stories are still strong.