NSW has the largest population of Arab-Australians in the nation. At the last census, there were over 125,000 Arabs living in Australia, accounting for 2% of the population, with Arabic spoken by almost 5 percent of the population.
As noted by the Community Heritage Project Wattan Report, as part of Heritage NSW, there is great diversity within the Lebanese and Arab Australian communities. There is also a diversity of histories of the experience of Arab Australian migration and settlement, from the 1870s to the present day. Syrians (as we were known in the late 19th and early 20th centuries) were the earliest Arabic speaking migrants in Australia, and now the Lebanese remain the largest and most dominant group.
The birthplaces of Arabic speaking people in NSW are: Australia, Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Jordan and Sudan, as well as Algeria, Bahrain, Kuwait, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates.
Shaoquett is a proud Arab-Australian, and works closely with the whole community on strengthening it in NSW.