Last updated:

March 2, 2020

'The search for Maltese troublemakers and criminals in Australia', Provenance: The Journal of Public Record Office Victoria, issue no. 15, 2016–2017. ISSN 1832-2522. Copyright © Yosanne Vella

Yosanne Vella is an associate professor in history pedagogy in the Faculty of Education at the University of Malta. She is a history teacher trainee and she lectures on various topics on history teaching. She was recently on sabbatical leave in Australia where she gave papers to undergraduate and masters’ students as well as to fellow academics on 'teaching change and continuity in history to secondary school children' and on 'using history teaching to combat Islamophobia'. The presentations were given at Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne, at Victoria University’s Centre for Cultural Diversity and Wellbeing and at the Faculty of Education of Newcastle University in New South Wales.

She was the Vice-Chair of the Education and Culture Committee of NGOs at the Council of Europe up to 2014, she is one of the editors of the online textbook Historiana published by Euroclio, the European History Educators’ Network, and she is one of Euroclio’s ambassadors. She is also on the editorial board of a number of journals including Heirnet’s International History Teaching Journal. She has published various books, textbooks, papers and teaching resources on history education, as well as a number of history papers on women in Malta in the eighteenth century. She is the Vice-President of both the Malta History Society and the Maltese History Teachers’ Association.

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This paper describes the author's search in Public Record Office Victoria and in Australian newspapers for criminal activity by the Maltese. What started as a search to find Maltese women criminals in the nineteenth-century evolved and changed into a more general search dictated by the history and availability of the historical sources. This paper gives some background on Maltese migration to Australia, followed by an explanation of how this history constrained the particular study on Maltese criminals. A possible explanation is given as to why no Maltese women criminals were  found and how other women criminals proved to be quite interesting. Some comparison is also made between the crimes of Australian women who were not Maltese in the nineteenth century and the crimes of Maltese women in Malta in the eighteenth century. The author's first encounter with Maltese women in the records are mentioned, and then the focus shifts to the small number of Maltese male criminals in Australia, giving some indication of what the nature of their crimes were in early twentieth-century Australia.



Research focus

My area of historical interest is usually women in Malta in the eighteenth century and I have published a number of papers on this topic, among them one on women ‘troublemakers’ and crime in that century.[1] This topic has always fascinated me as I find these women often shatter the stereotyped image of Maltese women in the past—the good, well behaved religious wife and mother who did not venture far from home. During a three-month stay in Melbourne, I was drawn to the Public Record Office Victoria’s main collection at the Victorian Archives Centre in North Melbourne where I hoped to find similar evidence of Maltese women ‘troublemakers’ in Australia.

Along with online searches of Australian archives, soon after my arrival in Melbourne I began to pay regular visits to Public Record Office Victoria (PROV). As any historian would tell you, three months is a very short time to find many interesting and useful sources on a specific topic, but I thought I would give it my best shot. The aim of this paper is to share my observations and interpretations of what I found during this brief period of research.


Maltese migration to Australia

The sources on crime offenders at PROV read like a timeline of Victoria’s and Australia’s history of migration.[2] The surnames and places of origin of the law-breakers reflect the history of the different ethnic groups who arrived, when they arrived, and the subsequent  generations who stayed.

It was clear from the start that my search for Maltese criminals was very much constrained by the history of Australia itself. For example, finding any records of Maltese or any other criminals in Victoria or anywhere else in Australia in my own research period (the eighteenth century) is not possible. In 1770, Lieutenant James Cook’s voyage was made and in 1787 the first British ships with people from Britain arrived in Sydney, slowly followed by a few other nationalities including the Maltese.

The general migration history of Maltese people to Australia is quite well documented. According to the Immigration Museum in Melbourne:

The first Maltese to arrive in Australia were convicts, transported in the 1810s for deserting their British regiments. Malta was then a British colony. The first free settler, Antonio Azzopardi, arrived in Melbourne in 1837 and became a successful businessman, but few Maltese followed in his footsteps. By 1881, the Malta-born population of Victoria was only 73.[3]

This tallies with various studies on Maltese migration to Australia[4] and that 'by 1891 the population of the Maltese in Australia was estimated to be 200, which rose to 1350 by 1921'.[5] Australia’s 1901 Immigration Restriction Act kept Maltese arrivals low in the early twentieth century for this gave customs officers power to exclude all unwanted immigrants. The Immigration Museum in Melbourne gives attention to the notorious dictation test:

Immigrants could be required to pass a language test in any European language. If they failed, they were refused entry. Maltese applicants were given a test in Dutch. A political activist [not a Maltese] who spoke several European languages eventually failed when he was tested in Gaelic. This technique continued to be used by Customs until 1958.[6]

Most studies on Maltese migration also mention the infamous event of 1916 when 240 Maltese arrived on the French steamer Gange. They were refused entry and kept for six months in New Caledonia before being allowed into Sydney.[7] According to Price,[8] Maltese migration restrictions were lifted in 1920, but with a quota of 260 per annum which was later increased to 1200 per annum. Then came the great wave of Maltese migrants in the late 1940s, 1950s and early 1960s. Cauchi describes it as:

… a period of massive and rapid migration, so that some villages in Malta and Gozo were depopulated of young able-bodied men. Moreover, Maltese migrants after the war found Australia more attractive. Pre-war, most Maltese migrated to USA or UK, whereas after the war, Australia and Canada were the main places to take migrants.[9]

After the 1970s the pattern of migration changed and a larger number of Maltese middle-class and professionals migrated to Australia.[10] Today in the twenty-first century a few Maltese continue to migrate to Australia joining the present profile of Australian immigrants who tend to be 'skilled migrants meeting workforce deficits. Migrants who arrive in Australia are generally of prime working age, and have high levels of labour market participation',[11] forming part of what has been called a ‘brain gain’ for Australia.


Looking for criminals

This history of Maltese immigration to Australia makes uncovering Maltese criminals in the past very difficult because the bulk of Maltese immigration to Australia occurred mainly after the middle of the twentieth century. Undoubtedly, after this big wave of immigration of the 1950s and 60s had occurred, there would be a sizeable number of criminal records that exist, but they are inaccessible. Access to these records is closed to public viewing for privacy reasons, since naturally these people might quite possibly still be alive. Therefore the bracket of years within which I could work was limited to about 50 years; from 1900 to 1950. I was encouraged to start from 1900 because I did find a few Australian Maltese men who had fought during World War I. A recent article on Maltese immigrants retells once again the infamous 1916 Gange incident when 249 Maltese were refused entry, and quotes various attacks in the Australian media of the time against this decision:

Where would the boys have been on April 25, 1915, had not the Maltese kept up the line of communication? How many of them partook in the naval battle of Jutland? How did they treat the boys whom they got to Malta? And this is the way we repay them?

The author of the article makes a final, scathing indictment of the Australian Prime Minister which appeared in the Western Australian of Wednesday 2 May 1917. 'Others have received our wounded Australians into their homes at Malta and nursed them back to health'.[12]


Involvement in World War I

These statements in defence of the Maltese focus on the fact that Malta was on the side of the Allies in World War I and they seem very aware of Malta’s reputation as the ‘Nurse of the Mediterranean’ where wounded Allied soldiers were sent. While these statements are true, a quick name search in the National Archives of Australia revealed that a number of Maltese men were actually fighting in the Australian army in World War I. The Personnel Dossiers of the First Australian Imperial Force[13] revealed a Cini, a Portelli, an Agius, two Bartolos, Vellas, Muscats and Caruanas, three Camilleris and Borgs and seven Attards! Closer examination of each of these individuals in this sample confirmed they were Maltese Australians originally hailing from various parts of the Maltese Islands including Valletta, Zejtun, Qormi and Gozo. Finding 24 Maltese in a quick search is quite impressive.

Maltese involvement in this war goes beyond helping to care for the Australians wounded during the Great War in Malta, it shows that Maltese men living in Australia were directly involved in the war effort on the Australian side. I found this helpful for my own research on Maltese criminals for these men enlisting in the Australian army clearly indicates that the number of Maltese in Australia prior to the twentieth century was larger than imagined and possibly the number of Maltese women had also grown. This gave me some hope that the records of the first Maltese women offenders in the nineteenth century and early twentieth century would eventually come to light and thus possibly disprove the accepted idea that:

The first woman to migrate from Malta to Australia was Carmela Sant in 1915. The move was prompted by her husband Giuseppe Ellul, who had migrated in 1913. Giuseppe Ellul was a stonemason in Mosta before moving to Australia to commence a successful career in sugar cane and dairy farming in Mackay, Queensland. In 1916 the couple gave birth to the first born Maltese Australian, Joseph Ellul.[14]

Common criminal patterns for women

Unfortunately, while I did find hundreds of women criminals in the nineteenth century, using the surname as an indicator, none appeared to be Maltese women or Maltese men. However, despite not finding any Maltese surnames, I found these mostly Irish, Welsh, Scottish and English women of the nineteenth century fascinating. Having previously written on Maltese women criminals in the eighteenth century I noticed that these women, although different by location and time, were committing similar types of offences.

As far as women are concerned, there does seem to be a common pattern of crime that runs across generations and cultures. Surprisingly, these nineteenth-century crimes committed by women in Australia are similar to the crimes committed by Maltese women in Malta 300 years ago.

In Malta in the eighteenth century:

court records show that women were sued in civil law in such matters as the non-payment of debts and illicit gambling in their taverns. Accusations against women both from Valletta and the villages included those of abusive and blasphemous conduct, drunkenness, theft offense, molesting, fighting and beating up people. Punishments took the form of fines, warnings as well as imprisonment, incarceration in a conservatorio and even exile to Gozo.[15]

These observations could equally be used to describe the crimes committed by Australian women in the nineteenth century, as the registers of female prisoners[16] at PROV report very similar crimes.

One frequent charge against both women in Australia in the nineteenth century and Maltese women in eighteenth-century Malta was that of theft. Women were charged with stealing foodstuffs, household goods, clothing, gold, silver and jewellery, and similarly hundreds of women in nineteenth-century Australia were accused of being thieves. Women used to work as servants in private households and were trusted with the running of the house. This offered them a golden opportunity to steal in an unperceived way by slowly putting things aside in the hope they would not be missed. The Australian media reported one such case which drew my attention for two reasons—firstly, the offender was a woman and secondly, the victim happened to be a Maltese man.

This was the case of Lilian Fitrick who was employed by a Maltese man, Christopher Portelli, a fruiterer, in Barkly Street, St Kilda in 1917. She was accused of stealing from him.

She had worked at his shop between 29 July and 11 August 1917, during which period he lost six sovereigns and a half sovereign. He complained to the police that he kept the money in a waistcoat pocket hanging behind the door in his bedroom and Lilian was the only person who had access to the room. He seemed to be quite a kind man for on hearing Lilian was in trouble over debts he said ‘Why didn’t you tell me, and I would have let you have the money, and you could take it out in wages’.[17]

Men like Christopher Portelli show that some early Maltese immigrants in Australia were quite successful, not only working themselves but also employing others. They seem to have been living comfortable lives, just as the first Maltese free settler known as Antonio Azzopardi had done as early as 1832. ‘The first free settler, Antonio Azzopardi, arrived in Melbourne in 1837 and became a successful business man’.[18]

The lack of any Maltese surnames in the nineteenth-century prison registers at PROV might indeed confirm that they did well or at least kept their heads just above water and lived within the laws of the new country.


Maltese women in the early twentieth century

In the past, most Maltese men tended to be married to Maltese women in Australia. The usual pattern was for the men to arrive first in Australia and once they were settled they would be followed by their Maltese wives or they married Maltese women they met in Australia. Wedding announcements between Maltese couples in the early twentieth century are quite frequent. To cite one example, the marriage of Doris Vassallo and Anthony Attard was announced on 31 July 1936. Doris was probably born in Australia for Doris’s father George is described as a ‘well known resident of Wetherail Park’ while it is not so clear where the groom Anthony was born. He is said to be from Pendle Hills, while his parents are described as being from Malta. It was a grand occasion.

The bride looked stately and presented a regal air as she entered the church on the arm of her father, her long train being supported by two flower girls … The bride carried a shower bouquet of white hyacinths and carnations, with a touch of pink; the bridesmaids’ shower bouquets were pale pink flowers … The bridegroom was attended by an old school friend, Mr Joe Pace, as best man and Mr Victor Portelli as groomsman.[19]

Maltese women were in Australia by the early twentieth century but my research did not locate any criminal offences recorded for them. The lack of female criminals even as late as the early twentieth century is testament to how relatively small the Maltese community was before the explosion of Maltese immigrants in the 1950s. However, another interpretation is that Maltese women in Australia led sheltered lives within the confines of their homes and family and did not venture out and mix much with the rest of society. Hence, the opportunity for crime was very limited.

One such lady was Antonia Vella who was born in Mosta, Malta in 1880. Her obituary states that 'she arrived in Australia and landed at Mackay in 1920 with her three eldest children to join her husband who had immigrated 10 years previously, to take up cane farming. Five years later the farm was disposed of and they went into business. Mrs Vella was one of the first two Maltese women to settle at Habana, where she remained until 1939. In 1934, accompanied by her husband and two younger children, she paid a visit to her native land, where they remained for six months.'[20]

This supports the notion that the Maltese did quite well economically as Antonia went into business with her husband and at one point could afford to return to Malta for half a year. She lived in Habana for 19 years and her obituary states that 'her kindness, generosity and happy disposition won her many friends, and on all occasions her house was a home for all'. The obituary goes on to describe her illness which lasted 20 years. Her funeral was attended by her husband, two sons and ten grandchildren.

Sometimes many years would pass between the arrival of the Maltese men in Australia and the arrival of their wives and the rest of their family. Like Antonia Vella, another Maltese woman described in a newspaper article simply as Mrs Attard arrived in Australia with her daughter around Christmas time 1949 while her husband, Joseph Attard, had been in Australia since 1926, a good 23 years before his wife. Unlike Antonia Vella, however, Mrs Attard seems to have led a less peaceful existence due to the behaviour of both her husband and her son who was described as one who gets very violent when angry. His father had actually paid for him to come to Australia a year before, but father and son did not get on very well. One day the son warned his father to stop drinking and in fact told the bar attendant not to serve his father any more drinks. Mrs Attard was indirectly involved in the fist fight that occurred between her husband and their son. It was she who eventually stopped the fight in the street and took her husband home, but not before he had sustained a number of injuries including 'two black eyes and a sore nose'.[21]

These Maltese women are by no means criminals, on the contrary, they are described as good natured and actually acted as peacemakers in their families and community. I did not find any Maltese female criminals at all, but this is not to say that none existed. Future research on this subject might eventually yield them. My method of using surnames to uncover Maltese women might be the reason for my unsuccessful attempt to uncover female criminals, for the search is hindered by the fact that women, especially in the past, changed their surnames upon marriage. Hence any Maltese women criminals bearing non-Maltese surnames all went undetected during my search.


Maltese male criminals in Australia

By the early twentieth century, the small Maltese community began to grow, aided by the continued constant small trickle of immigrants from Malta. With the larger Maltese population, the likelihood of finding convicted Maltese also grew and this did happen in my research at Public Record Office Victoria and in general Australian newspapers. Suddenly, in the early twentieth-century sources, I came across the first Maltese lawbreakers. Even though the number of Maltese men I found is small, I was delighted to find them. Having abandoned my quest to find Maltese women, I was grateful to find any Maltese at all. Indeed it was like finding precious needles in a hay stack.

Maltese male criminals, married or otherwise, did retain Maltese surnames and I managed to find a few of these, though not many. This would be expected for such a small community, but this very small number might also confirm the notion that the Maltese community continued to fare quite well economically in early twentieth-century Victoria and elsewhere in Australia and managed on the whole to keep out of trouble.

The oldest record I found of a Maltese man who did cause some disturbance in the community was John Portelli, who had leprosy. On 16 September 1919, he escaped from hospital in Sydney where he had been detained for seven months but I found no evidence that he was ever caught after this escape.[22] John Portelli did break the law by running away from the Lazaret Coast hospital, but he can hardly be described as a criminal. However, other Maltese men who appeared in the records almost a decade after Portelli could well be described as criminals. They were mostly convicted of petty crime, although some could also be described as dangerous criminals.

Although men normally keep their surnames, not all of them did. One of the Maltese convicts changed his surname and his Christian name. Emanuele Agius[23] was also known as George Muscat. Emanuele could have done this to cover his identity and make it difficult for him to be traced. He was not the only prisoner to give different names, and the police officers or clerks registering the convicts seemed to be aware of this. In a separate register to that where the crimes of Emanuele Agius, aka George Muscat, are recorded, there appears one Irish convict listed as Joseph Nagan,[24] where the clerk writes in red next to his name 'says name is Joseph Nagan, but cannot rely on him'. His suspicions might further have been raised when Joseph Nagan claimed he could not remember the name of the ship or the date when he arrived in Australia, thus eliminating the possibility of confirming whether his name is real or not! Joseph Nagan was charged with 'insulting behaviour' and eventually discharged on 3 February 1908.

Australia was a new country and these men were thousands of miles from their homeland. This provided a great opportunity for past offenders to start a new life with a new identity and a clean slate, either to start a new path on the right side of the law or to continue breaking the law, but with no past records! The intriguing case of Guiseppe Azzopardi, incidentally a Maltese, showcases in detail how subjects of the British Empire could vanish in Australia. Azzopardi moved to Smyrna, Turkey in 1842 leaving his wife and a young child in Malta. There he murdered a Dutch woman and was caught and sent for trial in London and condemned to death. This was later changed to transportation to Australia. He eventually remarried under the name of Joseph Azzopardi and despite the search for him by the official British government system—a search instigated by his destitute first wife—he was never found.[25]

Going back to Emanuele Agius, aka George Muscat—he was described as being swarthy, dark and with brown eyes and born in Malta in 1901. He had been a labourer, but Emanuele must have fallen on hard times some time after his arrival in Victoria for he is accused of two offences; that of 'insufficient means' and 'unlawful assault', possibly the first offence led to the behaviour that got him his second offence. He was convicted on 10 February 1931.

Emanuele could read and write, which was quite an achievement for a Maltese born in 1901, unlike the next Maltese convict Joseph Muscat[26] who had also been born in Malta, but was illiterate. Joseph is described as five-and-a-third feet (162.5 cm) tall, with brown eyes. His trade is noted as being that of a French polisher, but like Emanuele, Joseph seemed not to be doing very well in his new adopted country and was convicted on 13 September 1930 for 'insufficient means'. That was his only crime, but apparently it was enough to get him a six-month prison sentence. Joseph Muscat was convicted three years earlier than Emanuele in 1928 and he was also much older than Emanuele Agius for Muscat was born in 1869, probably also in Malta for he is said to be 'a native of Malta'. This would make Joseph almost 60 years old while Emanuele was still a young man of 29; as to be expected Joseph was married while Emanuele was not.

Another Maltese I found convicted in Victoria is very interesting and a somewhat different character to the other two men. Frank Attard was born in Malta in 1905 and also physically described as being swarthy and dark, and quite short, only 5 foot 2 inches (158 cm), but that’s where the similarity with Emanuele and Joseph ends. Frank Attard appears to have fared better than both Emanuele and Joseph for he could read and write and was a café owner. His crime was that of selling ‘sly grog’. The word ‘grog’ is today found in the Maltese language, but it actually comes from an English word which referred to a measure of alcohol, usually whisky. It is not much in existence in England today, but in the ex-British colonies like Malta and Australia, it is a familiar word and still used to refer to a drink of any alcohol. 'Sly' means cunning and also untrustworthy, so in other words Frank Attard was selling untrustworthy and illegally produced alcohol and sold in all probability as fake whiskey in his coffee shop.

Another Maltese man who got into trouble over the selling of liquor was Antony Portelli, described as a market gardener in New South Wales.[27] He was first brought to court at the age of 27 in 1933, when he denied any knowledge of the four bottles of white spirit found in the room occupied by two of his employees, as well as other bottles hidden in the market garden. This case was dismissed, but four years later he was not so lucky and was fined the then hefty sum of £30 for selling beer without a license. This time Anthony Portelli’s claim that he had bought the liquor for his own use was ignored.[28]

Similarly, in 1931 in Melbourne in Frank Attard’s case, the judge, perhaps recognising that Frank Attard was not a poor man, gave him the option of either paying £25 or a three-month prison sentence. But Frank Attard might not have been that rich after all or else simply preferred not to pay the heavy fine—instead he went to prison on 13 January 1931, served his three months and was released on 17 June of that year.

Around this time, only a month before Frank Attard’s conviction, another Maltese café owner sharing the same surname got into even more serious trouble. I found Attard to be a very popular Maltese surname in Australian records, but it seems too much of a coincidence to find two criminal Maltese café owners bearing the same surname in Melbourne in the 1930s; considering Frank Attard was 25 years old and Joseph Attard was 29 years old in 1930, they might quite possibly have been brothers sharing the same coffee shop business. The Daily Mercury newspaper reported on 30 December 1930 that Joseph Attard had been on trial on a charge of having committed a serious offence against a girl under the age of 17 years. The girl gave evidence to the effect that she was a waitress in Attard's employment. He persuaded her to drink a glass of beer and then punched her. The 1930s newspaper does not say why Joseph did this and what happened while she was unconscious. When she regained consciousness, Attard told her that if she informed the police, he would knife her. Evidence was given to the effect that she had been criminally assaulted.[29]

Sometimes Maltese men committed murder. This occurred in the case of Guiseppe Caruana, a 49-year-old who was charged with the murder of a fellow Maltese, Emmanuel Attard, on 20 November 1935. He spoke in broken English and was acquitted after 'declaring his innocence from the witness box. He said that it was in an attempt to protect himself from Attard, who had a knife, that the latter was killed'.[30] Indeed, carrying knives seems to have been the habit of a number of Maltese men and they were not afraid to use them. A fatal stabbing of a Maltese man occurred in Sydney in 1935, again possibly by another Maltese man,[31] and again in New South Wales six years previously in 1929, a Maltese farmer at Wetherill Park, John Attard (another Attard!), was charged with threatening language. He had told a Charles Parvis that: ‘I will kill you; I will draw blood from you’. The defendant did not understand the question asked of him in court and a friend who accompanied him had to explain, at which point he pleaded guilty. Attard was bound over to keep the peace for 12 months, and given a double fine of £15.[32] Cases of fights breaking out between Maltese men in the early twentieth century are quite frequent and, to cite just one more case, Charles Agius was knocked unconscious by Benedetto Said in 1940 and in court Charles said that when he had asked why Benedetto was insulting him, Benedetto told him to 'go to the devil'.[33]

The sensational case of the Maltese man Joe Camilleri who, at 32 years of age, attempted to murder his wife, also Maltese, in 1938 drew much attention from the Australian media. I found a trail of articles reporting this case and the subsequent trial. Joe Camilleri, poultry farmer from Wentworthvllle, Sydney was remanded in custody and charged in July 1938 for having 'feloniously attempted to administer arsenic to his wife, Mary Camilleri, with intent to murder her'. The police prosecutor said the woman was now in hospital paralysed from the hips down and Joe Camilleri had been refused bail.[34] During the trial, which lasted until September 1938, various witnesses gave evidence including his Maltese father-in-law Michael Camenzuli as well as his wife who was brought from hospital in an ambulance. Joe was found guilty and imprisoned for 12 years.[35]



These Maltese criminals were unearthed in my brief research which was confined to a few registers at PROV and general Australian newspaper articles citing incidences that occurred within a time span of just 50 years. I am sure that Maltese people convicted of crime grew in number proportionate to the rapid growth of the Maltese community which occurred from the middle of the twentieth century onwards. But, as already explained, registers on crime offenders in the PROV archives post-1950s are closed to the general public and not currently accessible, and I did not think it ethically correct to search for them in other sources.

Although the end result of my research study did turn out to be somewhat different from my initial idea, it was still an enjoyable journey. This is a small study, but it does give a picture of Maltese troublemakers in Australia in the early twentieth century. Like the Maltese community, the number of criminals is also small, but they did leave their footprint on Australia’s past. It is hoped that this brief study on criminal activity helps to encourage further qualitative studies on all aspects of the Maltese; they are not easy to unearth but they do exist.



[1] Yosanne Vella, 'Earthly Madonnas? Women troublemakers in 18th century Malta', Storja 98, Malta University Historical Society, 1998, pp. 33–40.

[2] Viewed registers online between 27 January to 1 March 2016 and saw various hard copies including PROV, VPRS 10879/P0 Alphabetical Index to Central Register of Female Prisoners; VRRS 516/P1 Central Register of Female Prisoners; VPRS 24/P0 Inquest Deposition Files, Unit 108, Item 1862/56 Male Vide female inquests; VPRS 5117/P0 Prisoners Receiving and Personal Description Book, Unit 1, 1887–1906; VPRS 11627/P1 General Sessions/County Court Criminal Record Book, Sale, Unit 1, 1862–1870; VPRS 11627/P1 General Sessions/County Court Criminal Record Book, Sale, Unit 2, 1870–1951.

[3] Immigration Museum, Melbourne, quotes from display posters showing timeline of immigration to Australia.

[4] See for example Maurice Cauchi, Maltese migrants in Australia, Victorian Ethnic Affairs Commission, 1990; Charles A Price, Malta and the Maltese, Georgian House, Melbourne, 1954; Charles Price, Southern Europeans in Australia, OUP, Melbourne, 1963; B York, 'Maltese male immigrants in Australia in the 1920s', Journal of Intercultural Studies, vol. 9, no. 2, 1998, pp. 17–39; B York, The Maltese in Australia, A.E. Press, Melbourne, 1986.

[5] Cauchi, Maltese migrants in Australia, p. 7.

[6] Immigration Museum, Melbourne.

[7] See York, 'Maltese male immigrants in Australia in the 1920s'; Cauchi, Maltese migrants in Australia, p. 7.

[8] Price, Southern Europeans in Australia, p. 11.

[9] Cauchi, Maltese migrants in Australia, p. 8.

[10] H Frendo, Maltese settlement in the English-speaking countries: the Australian case, MCCV Library Paper no. 139, 1988.

[11] Lisa Thomson, 'Migrant employment patterns in Australia post-Second World War to present', AMES Vision, AMES Research and Policy Publication, 2014, p. 18.

[12] Joe Morana, 'The Maltese migrants of New Caledonia', Times of Malta, 22 February 2016, pp. 18–19.

[13] National Archives of Australia, B2455 First Australian Imperial Force Personnel Dossiers 1914–1920, Discovering Anzacs, available at <>, accessed 28 February 2016.

[14] See entry on 'Maltese Australians' in Wikipedia, available at <>, accessed 8 March 2017.

[15] Vella, ‘Earthly Madonnas?’, p. 33.

[16] Viewed registers online between 27 January and 1 March 2016 and saw various hard copies including PROV, VPRS 10879/P0 Alphabetical Index to Central Register of Female Prisoners; VRRS 516/P1 Central Register of Female Prisoners; VPRS 24/P0 Inquest Deposition Files, Unit 108, Item 1862/56 Male Vide female inquests; VPRS 5117/P0 Prisoners Receiving and Personal Description Book, Unit 1, 1887–1906; VPRS 11627/P1 General Sessions/County Court Criminal Record Book, Sale, Unit 1 1862–1870; VPRS 11627/P1 General Sessions/County Court Criminal Record Book, Sale, Unit 2 1870–1951.

[17] ‘Larceny case’, Ararat Chronicle and Willaura and Lake Bolac Districts Recorder (Vic), Friday 31 August 1917, p. 2, available at <>, accessed 3 March 2016.

[18] Immigration Museum, Melbourne.

[19] ‘Wedding Bells Attard–Vassallo’, The Biz (Fairfield, NSW), Friday 31 July 1936, p. 6, available at <>, accessed  3 March 2016.

[20] 'Obituary: Mrs A. Vella', Daily Mercury (Mackay), Wednesday 9 April 1947, p. 2, available at <>, accessed 1 March 2016.

[21] 'Assault case adjourned Attard v. Attard', Barrier Daily Truth (Broken Hill), Thursday 17 August 1950, p. 4, available at <>, accessed 1 March 2016.

[22] 'A leper at large', The farmer and settler (Sydney), Tuesday 16 September 1919, p. 4, available at <>, accessed 19 March 2016.

[23] PROV, VPRS 515/P1 Central Register of Male Prisoners, Item 82, p. 287, Agius Emanuele (George Muscat): no. 41025.

[24] PROV, VPRS 5117/P0 Prisoners Receiving and Personal Description Book, Unit 2,  register case no. 7.

[25] Richard Pennell, 'Looking for Azzopardi: a historic and a modern search', Provenance: The Journal of Public Record Office Victoria, No. 10, 2011, available at <>, accessed 9 May 2016.

[26] PROV, VPRS 515/P1 Central Register of Male Prisoners, Item 78, p. 254, 'Muscat Joseph'.

[27] 'Illicit still', Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocacy (NSW), Thursday 2 March 1933, p. 8, available at <>, accessed 19 March 2016.

[28] 'Fined £30 for selling beer', Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate (Parramatta, NSW), Thursday 25 November 1937, p. 2, available at <>, accessed 13 March 2016. 

[29] 'Serious charge against Maltese cafe proprietor', Daily Mercury (Mackay), Tuesday 30 December 1930, p. 4, available at <>, accessed 13 March 2016.

[30] ‘Maltese acquitted of murder’, Barrier Miner (Broken Hill, NSW), Wednesday 25 March 1936, p. 6, available at <>, accessed 18 March 2016.

[31] 'Death in hospital: fatal end to argument', National Advocate (Bathurst, NSW), Friday 22 November 1935, p. 3, available at <>, accessed 18 March 2016.

[32] 'I will kill you', The Biz (Fairfield, NSW), Friday 10 May 1929, p. 5, available at <>, accessed 18 March 2016.

[33] 'Maltese in trouble', Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocates (Paramatta, NSW), Wednesday 5 June 1940, p. 3, available at <>, accessed 18 March 2016.

[34] ‘Camilleri remanded’, Cootamundra Herald (NSW), Tuesday 19 July 1938, p. 1, available at <>, accessed 20 March 2016.

[35] 'Camilleri found guilty', Cootamundra Herald (NSW), Friday 9 September 1938, p. 1, available at <>, accessed 20 March 2016.

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