1. Themes
  2. A to Z


Although a small Filipino-born population resided in Melbourne in the early 20th century and was augmented by some refugees from the Japanese occupation during World War II, the first sizeable group arrived in the 1950s under the auspices of the Colombo Plan. After martial law was declared in the Philippines in 1972, and with the federal Labor Government's introduction of less discriminatory immigration policies in 1973, the number of Filipinos increased rapidly. Although earlier Filipino immigrants were mostly men, during the 1980s nearly two-thirds were women, many coming as marriage immigrants. Filipino-born Melburnians display high literacy levels in English, although over 60% speak Tagalog at home. Approximately 90% of Filipino-born Victorians live in metropolitan Melbourne. The 2001 census recorded 20 163 Filipinos in Melbourne, 35.4% of whom arrived between 1986 and 1990. The largest concentrations are in the western suburbs, including Sunshine, Keilor and Footscray, with smaller concentrations in the south-east at Oakleigh and Springvale. Community organisations and centres include the Footscray-based Filipino Community Council of Victoria and the Laverton Philippine Community Centre (1996), home to the annual Philippine Fiesta. The monthly Philippine Times has been published since 1990.

Justin Corfield