Laotian Australians

Laotian Australians
Total population
9,931 (by birth)[1]
12,372 (by ancestry)[1]
Regions with significant populations
New South Wales 5,101
Victoria 2,160
Queensland 1,316
Australian Capital Territory 640
Australian English · Lao · Hmong
Buddhism · Christianity · Other
Related ethnic groups
Lao people, Isan people, Thai Australians, other Asian Australians

Laotian Australians (also known as Lao Australians) are Australians originating from Laos, and their descendants. Mass migration from Laos to Australia began in 1976. As of 1995, they numbered roughly 9,800 people.[2]


Organisations established by Laotians in Australia include the Lao Studies Society, the Council of Overseas Lao, the Lao Patthin Association, LaoAus Care Inc. and the Lao Women's Association. The leadership of these organisations is largely drawn from among the civil servants of the pre-communist government of Laos, as well as the international students who were sponsored to come to Australia under the Colombo Plan during that government.[2]


Most Laotians in Australia are Theravada Buddhists, with a minority of Catholics.[3] In the early days of their migration, they had no temples of their own, and so worshipped at established Thai Buddhist temples instead. Later, the community sponsored monks of their own country to come to Australia, mostly drawing from the population already in refugee camps in Thailand. As of 2001, Sydney had four Laotian Buddhist temples, Melbourne had two, and Canberra, Adelaide, and Albury-Wodonga each had one.[2]

See also


  1. 1 2 "The Laos-born Community: Historical Background (2011 census)". Australian Government, Department of Immigration and Border Protection. 19 November 2013. Archived from the original on 19 February 2014. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
  2. 1 2 3 Phoumirath, T. (2001), "Laotians", in Jupp, James, The Australian people: an encyclopedia of the nation, its people and their origins, Cambridge University Press, pp. 550–552, ISBN 978-0-521-80789-0
  3. "The Laotian Community in Australia", SBS Radio, 2007-06-17, retrieved 2009-09-01

Further reading

  • Gardner, J.; Sayavongsa, N.; Webster, I. (1993), "HIV education and prevention programs for the Laotian community in south western Sydney, Australia", Int Conf AIDS, 9 (2) 
  • Developing best practice drug and alcohol treatment service and support models for young people of Cambodian, Lao and Vietnamese Origin, Drug Treatment Services, Aged, Community and Mental Health Division Reports, Victoria: Dept. of Human Services, 1998, ISBN 978-0-7306-5122-2 

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