Jan. 1, 2012: Est. population, 21,262,000; Members, 132,392; Stakes, 32; Wards, 204; Branches, 81; Missions, 5; Districts, 9; Temples, 5;
Percent LDS, 0.58, or 1 LDSin 172; Pacific Area. Inthe southwest SouthPacific, the island-continentofAustraliaisa democraticfederalstate inthe Britishcommonwealth.
Australia's population speaksEnglish, and is 26 percentAnglican, 25 percentProtestant, and 25 percentRoman Catholic. In 1840, William Barratt, 17, was called from England to serve a mission in Australia. He found circumstances difficult, but baptizedRobertBeauchamp wholater becamean influential mission presidentinAustralia. Thennextmissionary was AndrewAnderson who had been baptizedby OrsonPratt in Scotland. Before he emigratedto Australia, he was givenlicense to preach there. Heand his family arrived in 1842. By the end of 1844, he organized a branch of 11 members in the private
township of Montefiores,some 220 miles northwest of Sydney. JohnMurdoch and Charles Wandell arrivedfrom Utah 31 October 1851 in Sydney, and established mission headquarters
there. They published tracts, began preaching andfound a few converts among a people verydistracted bya gold rush. A yearlater, 47members wereinthemission when Murdoch leftbecause ofillhealth. On 6 April 1853, Wandell leftwith a company ofSaints. Afew days later, another10 missionaries arrived underthe direction ofAugustus Farnham.
Atleastnine companies emigrated from Australia to Utah inthe 1800s. Themostserious shipaccident among allthe LDS emigrating companies occurred 3 October 1855, when the bark Julia Ann, carrying 28 Saints emigrating to Utah from Australia, broke up on shoals near the Scilly Islands. Five peoplewere drowned in the mishap.
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When word of the Utah War arrived in Australia in late December 1857, all missionaries returned to Utah. From then until 1875 only a few American missionaries were sent to Australia. Moreover, with greater successes in New Zealand, efforts of the Australasian Mission were focused there and in 1880 mission headquarters were moved to Auckland. After 1875 efforts in Australia were renewed and on 1 January 1898, the Australasian Mission was divided, forming the Australian and NewZealandMissions. Atthe time,membershipin Australia was about 200.
Missionaries arrived in Perth, Western Australia, in 1888. The first LDS meetinghouse in the country was completed in Brisbane in 1904. Emigrating members continually depleted numbers and upset the Australian government, who in 1917 limited thenumber ofmissionaries who could enterAustralia andinl918forbade "emigration propaganda."
Meetinghouses were dedicated in Melbourne in 1922,Adelaide in 1923,Sydney in 1924,and Perth and Hobartin 1925. World WarIIbrought theevacuation ofmissionaries andslowed thework. Furthermore, shipping difficulties began immediately after the war and hindered the return of missionaries.
TheSouth Australian Mission wascreated in 1955, withheadquarters in Melbourne, and David 0. McKay authorized the construction of new meetinghouses that same year.
Australia's firststake was organized in Sydney 27 March 1960. Additional missions were created in 1958 (Adelaide), 1973 (Brisbane), and 1975 (Perth), 1993 (Sydney North) and 1998 (Melbourne West). The Sydney Australia Temple, dedicated 1984,was Australia's firsttemple. Additional templeshavebeen dedicated in Adelaide, Melbourne, Perth,and Brisbane.
Members assisted as volunteers with the 2000 Summer Olympic Games.
On 28 March 2003, Elder Kenneth Johnson presented 100,000 Australian Dollars to the Farmhand Foundation for drought relief.
In2003,membership reached106,930. In2005,membership reached 111,098. In2009,membership reached123,650.
On1 July 2010, the Australia Sydney North Mission wascombined withthe Australia Sndney SouthMission to formthe Australia Sydney Mission. The Australia Melbourne West Mission was combined with the Australia Melbourne East Mission to form the Australia Melbourne Mission.