Facts and Figures

How many Baha’is are there in Australia?
There are approximately 20,000  registered Baha’is in Australia.

Where do Australian Baha’is come from?
The 2006 Australian Census showed  that Australian Baha’is come from many different backgrounds, with 33% born in Australia, 45% in Iran, and the remainder from more than 30 other countries including England, France, India, Malaysia, New Zealand, Samoa and the United States.

Why are there Baha’is from Iran in Australia?
The Iranian Revolution of 1979 set off a wave of persecution against the Baha’is in Iran, the land of the religion’s birth.

The Australian government was active in its defence of the human rights of the Baha'is of Iran, and in March 1982 established a special humanitarian assistance program under which Iranian Baha'i refugees were eligible to migrate here.

Over the ensuing years several thousand Iranian Baha'is came to this country, enriching the size and diversity of the Australian Baha'i community and making a significant contribution to the country as a whole.

You can meet some of them in the "Profiles" section of this website. 

How long has the Baha’i Faith been in Australia?
The first Baha'is arrived in Australia in April 1920. They were Clara and John Henry Hyde Dunn, of Irish and English descent respectively.

Who were the first Australian Baha’is?
In 1922 the first Australians joined the Faith. They were Oswald Whitaker, a Sydney optometrist, and Effie Baker, a Melbourne photographer.

Are there indigenous Baha’is?
Yes. Indigenous Australians have been part of the Australian Baha'i community since the 1950s. They have participated in its development, serving on local and national administrative bodies and representing the Baha'i community at international events. Among the first indigenous Australians to become a Baha’i was Fred Murray.

Who is the head of the Baha'i Faith in Australia?
The head is the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Australia, a nine-member body that is elected annually. The international head is the Universal House of Justice which is based at the Baha'i World Centre in Haifa, Israel.

Does the Baha’i Faith have a national centre?
The national centre of the Australian Baha'i community is located in the grounds of the Baha'i House of Worship at 173 Mona Vale Road, Ingleside, NSW 2101. Telephone us on (02) 9998 9222 or email secretariat@bnc.bahai.org.au.

How is the Australian Baha’i community organised?
The Australian Baha’i community’s collective life is administered by nine-member consultative councils that are democratically elected, without nomination or electioneering, at the local, regional and national levels. These are Local Spiritual Assemblies, Regional Baha’i Councils and a National Spiritual Assembly.

Women and men 21 years and over are eligible to be elected to these bodies. There is no clergy in the Baha’i Faith.