A Mauritian-Australian Connection site for all things Mauritan-Australian

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http://www.cjp.net/mauritius.htm
A Mauritian-Australian Connection site for all things Mauritan-Australian

The links between Australia and Mauritius span several centuries. Beginning with Abel Tasman in 1642, Mauritius was an important Indian Ocean base for exploration of Australia's coast. Trading links began as early as 1802. In 1834 the political firebrand John Dunmore Lang (1799-1878) wrote: 'The Australian colonies are at present supplied with sugar from the Isle de France (Mauritius). It is paid for chiefly in money as Mauritius takes a very insignificant quantity of Australian produce in return.' Not long after Mauritius was captured from the French, Britain began transporting unruly Mauritian slaves as convicts to new South Wales and Van Dieman's Land. Between 1820 and 1834, the Catholic Church in Australia was administered from Mauritius. Later, during the Gold Rush, hundreds of Mauritians arrived in Australia organised in disciplined companies of diggers. Le Courrier, a Mauritian newspaper then reported: 'Once in Australia, everyone will go free in the direction be wants and except for that common bond which never breaks between compatriots and companions of good and bad fortune... everyone will be there for himself and God for all'.They were followed by highly skilled planters and sugar chemists who made a crucial contribution to the establishment of Australia's sugar industry. Edward Shann in his Economic History of Australia, tells us: 'In 1856, John Dunmore Lang, always an eager advocate of the production of cotton and sugar by European labour, rode out from Grafton to a creek on the Clarence River where he saw 350 acres under sugar cane, grown by a settler from Mauritius, Mr Adam. He thought it very superior, yielding four tons of sugar to the acre.'

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After Mauritius achieved independence in 1968, political uncertainties caused another major wave of highly skilled Mauritians to migrate to Australia. Numerous were the civil servants and professionals who made it downunder to start new lives, not only for themselves but for their children as well.

Today, at least 25,000 Australians are either Mauritian-born or (like painter Lloyd Rees and singer Gary "Angry" Anderson) are of Mauritian descent. John Tidley of The Age wrote in May 3, 1972: 'Mauritians have integrated in Melbourne's population virtually without notice, in the past few years.'

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