Black and white photograph of Beco Bilic in the Botanical Gardens, Melbourne, 10 April1965.

Beco Bilic, a Bosnian Muslim, originally came from Bosanska Grdaska, a town in north-west Bosnia and Herzegovina. He migrated to Australia on the ship Fairsea in Australia in 1959. He departed from Napoli travelling to Port Said then to Fremantle to Melbourne. From Melbourne he went directly to the Bonegilla camp then moved to Canberra where he stayed in a migrant hostel.

When he moved to Melbourne his first job was in Carlton in building construction. For most of his career Beco worked as a construction technician. He is a long standing member of the Bosnian Islamic Society in Noble Park. From the early days he was a member of the Islamic communities in Carlton and Preston. In 1965 Beco married Ana, a Croatian woman from the town of Cakovec. They attended the old mosque in Adelaide built by the early Afghan cameleers, where Imam Ahmed Skaka, originally from Bosnia, performed the marriage ceremony.

Beco is still engaged within the Bosnian Muslim community, visiting his old Bosnian friends, while also playing bowls with non-Muslim friends in Noble Park.

Description of Content

Man in a garden standing among cacti.

Physical Description

Black and white photograph on paper.


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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