Slovenian Community in Australia

Slovenes live in all states of Australia, the majority are in Melbourne, followed by Sydney. Social clubs provide venues for community functions, folkloric ensembles, sports, school and library facilities. In Victoria, there are five clubs in Melbourne and one in Geelong. The associations organise full annual social calendars of events, celebrations, state and national festivals. Various groups are involved in the community with media and social services.

The Slovenian Franciscan Order has a significant role in the life of the community. It founded three churches in Adelaide, Melbourne, and Sydney, for the pastoral care of Slovenian Catholics and social services extending to regional Australia. The Missions are cultural centres for community groups, events, and performances. Visitors, and ensembles from interstate and overseas are welcomed with traditional hospitality.

Slovenian Emigrant Handicrafts Archive

The handicrafts project is a web exhibition or an online archive titled "Web Archive of handicrafts of Slovenes around the World" (Spletni arhiv ročnih del Slovencev po svetu). Collaboration between the Slovene Ethnographic Museum of Ljubljana and ISSV resulted in the first publication of online archives with the web exhibition site of

It is a Slovenian community archival project started in 2006 to preserve heritage, initiated and published by ISSV.


Slovenian settlers began to establish associations wherever they found themselves themselves in any large numbers. They began by meeting in private homes, invested considerable energy into acquiring real estate, which could be converted and-or built on.

Wherever large blocks of land were available and there were skilled builders in the group, they bought the land and built club premises suitable for gathering, dancing and eating. Later they added sport facilities such as basket ball, soccer and particularly bowling.

An important feature of all these associations was a lively cultural life, with celebration of traditional Slovenian feast-days, and special festivities with performances of various kinds, in which the youngest members were always included.


A number of Slovenian institutions were created in Australia, particularly in the states with a larger Slovenian population. There are in the first place Slovenian Franciscan Missions in New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria. which are central in maintaining Slovenian traditional social and spiritual life. In each state there is a church built by the community, church hall for gatherings and cultural events. In Melbourne there are also Home for the Aged, Baraga House Hostel, Baraga Library, and the Office of the journal Misli. The Council of Slovenian Organizations of Victoria is an important body, in that it functions as an umbrella organization, coordinating the activities and policies of Victorian clubs.

The Institute for Slovenian Studies of Victoria was established as a Slovenian teachers association in 1976 with the aim of establishing and maintaining Slovenian as a secondary school subject. Since 1998 it has developed the website for the study of Slovenian language and culture.

Both Victoria and New South Wales have established the valuable historical community archives - HASA. In Sydney Slovenian Australian Institute focuses on Slovenian art exhibitions.


Slovenian settlers have produced a number of print publications over the years. The most enduring has been the monthly religious and cultural magazine Misli. Begun in 1952 by the Franciscan missionaries, it is still published today from the Baraga House in Melbourne.

Special Broadcasting Services produce support radio programs in languages spoken in Australia. Slovenian has had a regular program in Melbourne and Sydney since 1975. In Melbourne there is also the local community weekly radio program 3ZZZ, in operation since 1988. It has been the responsibility of Metka Lenarčič now for a number of years. There are in addition a number of radio programs in country towns across Australia.

Slovenian Australian Network has provided a news and information service on the Web to Slovenian communities in Australia since 1996. From 1999 Institute for Slovenian Studies of Victoria has been web publishing Slovenian educational and cultural contents in the English language, beginning with Slovenian Language Resources and Sloveniana Webzine.


The first services offered to Slovenian settlers by Slovenian institutions were initiated by Franciscan missionaries, by establishing Slovenian church communities across Australia, including spiritual, social and cultural assistance and activities. The Slovenian Franciscan Mission in Melbourne offered accommodation and board in the hostel Baraga House to individuals and families on arrival and assisted them in establishing themselves in Australia.

Since 1975 Baraga Library has functioned as Slovenian lending library and distributor of Slovenian books, magazines, video films and CDs.

Mother Romana Home for the Aged was established in 1992 for the care of the elderly. Slovenian Goodwill and Information Office Inc. has been set up in 2005 to assist the older members of Slovenian community on a variety of issues, such as health, legal and financial matters.


There are three government bodies of the Republic of Slovenia that Slovenes living outside its borders can turn to for assistance and advice.

In Australia the Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia is in Canberra. Its representatives are available for contact on the telephone or electronic mail, and may be visited by appointment. The embassy staff also regularly the capital cities, where they make themselves available to Slovenian community in various well advertised locations for consular appointments.

In Sydney the Honorary Consul is Mr Anthony Tomazin. In 2014 Mrs. Nevenka Clarke was appointed Honorary Consul for Queensland and Mr. Adrian Vatovec was appointed Honorary Consul for South Australia.

The Government Office for Slovenes Abroad/Urad Vlade za Slovence v zamejstvu in po svetu, is responsible for funding the initiatives and activities of Slovenes living outside the borders of the Republic of Slovenia that maintain Slovenian identity. It became an independent service in 2004. The Office maintains contact with Slovenian minority and emigrant organisations promoting their activities and organising conferences, seminars. The Office manages public tenders financed by the Republic of Slovenia for programmes and projects in the interests of Slovenes around the world. In association with several organisations The Office developed the web portal in 2008 with the aim of connecting and providing a flow of information between the homeland and Slovenes around the world.

Slovenian Connections

Australia, Slovenia and the European Union. About Slovenes around the world. International cooperation.