The Maltese are a community that has settled in Australia without too much fuss. The silent work undertaken by the earlier leaders, often without recognition, motivated others to develop futher the earlier initiatives. Together, these individuals contributed to the smooth settlement of the Maltese in Australia.
The first Maltese immigrant community settled in the sugar-cane producing areas in the northern regions of Queensland. The arrival in 1920 of some Maltese families in the Mackay region was an event of great importance as it provided the Maltese workers, mostly male, with a stronger sense of belonging to a community. It was virtual the starting point of the Maltese community’s development. Even so, the Maltese migrants did not seem to have the time or the will to organise themselves in those early years.
When Australia opened up in the post World War II era, the number of migrant families from Malta grew considerably and it was possible to have groups forming associations which catered for a particular section of the community, such as soccer teams, village festas, ghana, literature, historical and philarmonic bangs. In turn, some of these associations splintered into smaller groups as other rival associations were formed.
Some of the groups or associations themselves felt the need to form ‘umbrella’ organisations and Maltese Community Councils emerged in some states. The Maltese Community Councils, in the turn, were prominent in setting up and contributing in the development of the Ethnic Communities Council.