SLOVENIANS IN TASMANIA
Slovenians migrated to Australia at the end of the Second World War. On 6 July 1949 the first Slovenian arrived at Beauty Point in Tasmania. The only method of transportation available to postwar emigrants was by boat, sponsored by the Australian Government. The single migrants were required to contribute one week's work aboard cooking, cleaning and performing other tasks.
In the Brighton Camp the migrants were given accommodation, meals, lessons in English and the opportunity to begin their new life with work offered by companies like the Electrolytic Zinc Works, Hydro-Electric Commission, the Forestry Department and Cadbury. Others worked in butcheries and smallgoods factories. Single men seemed to integrate faster than families.
After the 1960s, once the early arrivals became established with homes of their own, their next goal was to bring out remaining family members. Almost the entire population of one small village emigrated. Very approximately, about sixty Slovenians now resided in Tasmania. By now the single men from the Brighton Camp days had married Australian women and had families of their own. For example, the present author was born Jessie Bridge in Nubeena, Tasmania in 1933. She met Anton Ambroz at a dance hall in Hobart, the Belvedere, and they married in June 1955. Coincidentally they were both employed at the Zinc Works.
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The Slovenian community in Tasmania is small, but they meet in Hobart at some occassions for celebrations and at the special events.
ROLE OF CHURCH
Melbourne Slovenian Franciscans: Fr Basil Valentin OFM MBE, Fr Tone Gorjup OFM, Fr Metod Ogorevc OFM, and Fr Cyril A. Božič OFM OAM came annually to say Mass in Slovenian language which was held at the Croatian chapel in Granton.