Sinhalese in Australia






Largest Religion

Main Language


Introduction / History

Sri Lankans in Australia are one of the largest groups of Sri Lankans away from their own country and the largest in Oceania. Sri Lankans include the Sinhalese peoples group.

The first Sinhalese people from Sri Lanka came in 1870 to work in Queensland on the sugar cane plantations. The first Sinhalese migration to Australia was in 1960. After the middle of the 1970s, large numbers arrived including Christians and Buddhists. During the 1970s immigration restrictions were eased and after 1973 and from the early 1980s, Sinhalese and other Sri Lankan migration began again and increased.

In the 1980s there were problems between the Sri Lankans in Australia related to the troubles at the time in Sri Lanka itself and the Sinhalese and Tamils had disputes among themselves. It is said that recently a Sri Lankan identity has come about amongst the migrants. Community organizations have been formed regards Sri Lankan tradition and culture. Strong friendships have been formed between Sinhalese Buddhists in Australia and those in Thailand, Myanmar and Cambodia and similarly regarding those who are Christian immigrants.

The Sinhalese speak Sinhali and English. SBS radio broadcasts in Sinhalese. Most Sinhalese in Australia are Theravada Buddhists and a small number of them are Christians (a chance for the Christian Sinhalese to give the gospel message here). There are Theravada Buddhist temples in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and South Australia. Theravada Buddhism is nearer to early Buddhism than other forms of Buddhism are.

Sinhalese like to travel and some of them were poor in Sri Lanka.


Profile Source:   Anonymous  

People Name General Sinhalese
People Name in Country Sinhalese
Population in Australia 80,000
World Population 10,381,000
Countries 19
Progress Scale 1.1
Least-Reached Yes
Unengaged or Unknown Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Cingalese, Singalese, Singhalese, Sinhala
Affinity Bloc South Asian Peoples
People Cluster Sinhala
People Name General Sinhalese
Ethnic Code CNN25q
People ID 14196

No people group map currently available. Use the above button to submit a map.

Enthologue Language Map

Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Sinhala (80,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Sinhala 80,000
Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (1739-1966)
New Testament Yes   (1776-1991)
Complete Bible Yes   (1823-1982)
Audio Bible Online
Format Resource
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching (GRN)
Audio Recordings General Ministry Resources
Audio Recordings Online New Testament (FCBH)
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video God's Story Video
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Sinhala
Film / Video My Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
General Four Spiritual Laws
General Gods Simple Plan
General Got Questions Ministry
Text / Printed Matter Bible-in-Your-Language
Text / Printed Matter World Missionary Press Booklets

Major Religion Percent
100.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Photo Source: Sally Cawthra, London, England  
Profile Source: Anonymous  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more
Get Involved
Register ministry activity for this group

Copyright © 2014 Joshua Project.  A ministry of the U.S. Center for World Mission.