Colour digital photograph of the Shkembi family in Keilor Downs, Victoria, 1982. From left to right (rear) Nebiohat and Wilson; from left to right (front) Drita, Agim and Nur.

Nebihat Div and Wilson Shkembi, both Muslims from Albania, lived in Christchurch, New Zealand, before settling in Melbourne in 1980. Nebihat had travelled to New Zealand in 1964 when she married Wilson Shkembi from Korce in Albania. She was originally from Pristina, the capital city of Kosovo. Prior to migrating to Australia, Nebihat spent six years in Türkiye (Turkey), working at the City Council of Izmir. Her father spoke the Osmanli language in Kosovo, and while she worked in Türkiye, she learned the Turkish language. Her husband Wilson, as a single man, left Albania for Greece and then migrated to Christchurch in 1956. When they moved to Melbourne there were a few hundred Albanian Muslims from Kosovo, Macedonia and Albania. They found Albanian mosques in Carlton and Shepparton. Wilson went regularly to the mosque and was a respectful member of the community. By visiting communities, they also met Bosnian and Turkish Muslims. Speaking Turkish helped Nebihat to converse with the Turkish migrants in Victoria she met.

Description of Content

People in front of a house.

Physical Description

Colour digital photograph


Statement of Historical Significance:
Muslims in Australia are an under represented cohort in both the museum's collections and Australian history more broadly. As an-ever growing faith in Australia, it is important to trace the migration and settlement of Muslim Australians across time in order to help provide a historical, social and cultural context for Muslim Australians today. This collection is the key outcome for the collaboration between the Museum and Dr Dzavid Haveric, MV research associate, who has published a seminal history of Muslims in Australia. This collection is the result of his research and community interviews.

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