Welsh in Australia: Their Most Famous Immigrant

This is the third in my (yes, you’ve guessed it) four-part series about how the United Kingdom countries are represented here in Australia.

I did rather cryptically explain the countries that do form the UK last week in my post about the Scottish in Australia and the first in the series was about the Irish in Australia.

This week it’s the turn of…

The Welsh in Australia

It won’t surprise you to learn that Wikipedia have their very own Welsh Australian page and they say “According to the 2006 Australian census 25,317 Australian residents were born in Wales, while 113,242 (0.44%) claimed Welsh ancestry, either alone or with another ancestry.”

This represents easily the fewest residents of the UK countries and even taking into account that Wales has a lower population than the others at just 3 million, it is still proportionately low. That doesn’t stop Wales having one very well known Welsh person living here though.

Wales’ most famous Australian

For those of you thinking I was going to say Julia Gillard, you can forget it. The most famous Welshman in all of Australia has to be David Jones.

David JonesDavid Jones is a hugely successful department store here in Australia; think Debenhams and you’d be close but that’s more like our other Australian major departmental store, Myer. Think a little more upmarket though, say John Lewis, and that would be David Jones.

We even have a state here called New South Wales because it is thought that when he first arrived and saw the place it reminded Capt James Cook of the coast of South Wales, so what better name could it be given?

Time to take a look at a Welshman in Australia.

This is Rhod Gilbert, he came here for a holiday but as soon as he arrived there was a problem. He’s not happy, and he doesn’t like the Australian sense of humour…

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