Geographic Origins

The Republic of Zimbabwe is a land-locked country in southern Africa. It is bordered by Botswana and Namibia to the west, Zambia to the north, Mozambique to the east and South Africa to the south.

History of Immigration and Settlement

African and Asian Zimbabweans were not permitted to resettle in Australia until after 1973 when the 1901 Immigration Restriction Act, better known as the White Australia Policy, was abolished.

Most Zimbabwean South Australians settled in the state after 1978. Most are the descendants of English, European and South African migrants who settled in what was then Southern Rhodesia at the turn of the century.

Community Activities

A number of Zimbabwean South Australians are involved in the African Community Organisation of South Australia. For further information on community activities and organisations consult the African entry.


According to the 1986 census there were 283 Zimbabwean-born South Australians.

The 1991 census recorded that 369 South Australians were born in Zimbabwe. 260 people said that their mothers were born in Zimbabwe, and 235 that their fathers were.

According to the 1996 census there were 358 Zimbabwean-born South Australians, this represents 4.0 per cent of the national total of 8,947.

The 2001 census recorded 451 Zimbabwean-born South Australians, while 93 people said that they were of Zimbabwean descent and 37 said that they were of Shona descent.

The 2006 census recorded 926 Zimbabwean-born South Australians, while 337 people said that they were of Zimbabwean descent.

The 2011 census recorded 1,239 Zimbabwean-born South Australians, while 504 people said that they were of Zimbabwean descent.

The 2016 census recorded 1,486 Zimbabwean-born South Australians, while 749 people said that they were of Zimbabwean descent.

By Migration Museum

This article is part of the From Many Places project documenting the diverse cultural groups in South Australia. It is a project started by the Migration Museum in 1992 and continued in partnership today. 

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Courtesy of/Photographer:Bit Scribbly Design

Migration Museum

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