Muslim contact with Australia can be traced to before European settlement. In the seventeenth century Macassarese people from Indonesia formed trade links with Indigenous Australians. British-European settlement on the Australian continent occurred when British and Irish convicts were transported there between 1788 and 1868. A few Muslim convicts from the British colonies arrived in Australia. However, Muslim settlement in Australia in notable numbers commenced with the arrival of the Afghans from the 1860s when they were introduced to assist with exploration. Other early Muslim ethnic groups included Indians, Malays, and Javanese. Under the Immigration Restriction Act 1901, European Muslims such as Albanians migrated to Australia. In 1973, when multiculturalism became government policy, Muslim (and non-Muslim) migration to Australia commenced in large numbers. It reflected the increasing cultural, linguistic and religious diversity in Australia.
Center for Australian, New Zealand and Pacific Studies, Georgetown University ACMCU 2016