The economic plight of the Afghans in Australia, 1860-2000
Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences
School of Communications and Contemporary Arts / Centre for Research in Entertainment, Arts,Technology, Education and Communications
Afghans were the first group of Muslims to introduce Islamic practice in Australia. Their migration to Australia tool place within two distinct periods, 1860 to 1900, and 1980 to 2001. During the first period the Afghans came to Australia as camel drivers. The Burk and Wills expedition in 1860-61 was the first Australian expedition to use them. Camels and drivers were needed for the development of Australia’s semi-arid regions. Consequently, in the 1860s Thomas Elder and his partner S.J. Stuckey advocated the mass introduction, breeding and extensive use of camels on the continent. Along with the camels came the high influx of Afghan camel drivers in the 1890s.