Migrants from Europe have a long history in WA. Dutch ships reached Australia in the early 1600s, pre-dating British settlement. It is reported that survivors from ships wrecked off the WA coast settled here and lived in Aboriginal communities. Immigration from Italy, Poland and Croatia began in the 19th century.
European migration picked up strongly after World War II, with migrants from Germany, Croatia, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands and Poland arriving. Many of these post war immigrants were displaced from their countries of origin, some were encouraged to move to Australia to fill industrial jobs.
Post war European migration broadly peaked during the 1960s although migration from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Poland continued into the 1970s and 80s. European migration has slowed more recently, although new waves of migrants from Croatia and Germany have arrived during the 90s and 2000s.
Office of Multicultural Interests - Community Profiles