Jaka Okorn

At the request from Dr. John Arnez, Director of the Slovene Archival and Research Institute STUDIA SLOVENICA in StVid by Ljubljana, I began compiling a biography of Slovenes who live or lived in Australia.

My main source of information at the present is the Australian Slovene monthly MISLI that is already in it's 50th year of publication. There are other Slovene publications in Australia that have in the past or still do circulate there, that will also have to be examined for this purpose.

From the monthly MISLI I systematically enter into my word processor any and all names I find mentioned. To date only the years 1957 - 1979 have gone through this process. Much work still remains to be done.

I find that the Slovenes there are predominately from the Primorska, Prekmurska and Belakrajina regions of Slovenija and also from Istra. A few, not many, found their way to Australia prior to WWII, a fresh influx were the political refugees following the war, and many more started arriving there in the 50s, 60s and 70s for economical reasons. The total, by some estimates, number 25 to 30 thousand first generation Slovenes. (In 1969 Australia made an agreement with Yugoslavia to arrange transportation for immigrant to Australia for $25.- because it desperately sought Europeans to settle there).

The list of names I have collected consist primarily of subscribers to MISLI. For many I have only their names - they were listed as making donations to the publication, building projects for Slovene churches and national homes, assisting those in need, and other collections. For others I have information that may fill a page or even much more. Their biographical data comes from death notices, marriages, christenings, etc. Some information comes from articles written by them or about them because of their cultural, academic, commercial, political, or other activities.

All of this information is filling up a box full of cassette discs that, sorry to say, are not yet compatible with today's PCs (My word processor is an old relic). I am being promised to have these diskettes translated by a comp. whiz into a compatible form sometime soon.

For now, if somebody urgently needs to look up someone in Australia, I can make a fast check and see if I have that name.

My address is: Skofjeloska 16, 1215 Medvode, Slovenija, E-mail :