Monochrome portrait photograph of Adem Obarcanin wearing a hat (fez) in Bosnia and Herzegovina, 6 May 1937.

Adem Obarcanin, from the city of Gorazde in Bosnia and Herzegovina, arrived as a single man in Australia in 1951. While he travelled across Australia he lived most of his time in Melbourne. One of his first jobs was wood cutting and timber transport in South Australia. In Melbourne he became a successful businessman and opened a reception centre, petrol station and also ran an export-import company by travelling to various countries for his business. While visiting Bosnia he met his future wife, Hida, a qualified nurse, who would work in Melbourne hospitals. Adem was a longstanding member of the Bosnian Muslim community in Noble Park. He was a supporter of Bosnian cultural events, while Hida also sang traditional songs in a Bosnian choir.

Description of Content

Man with a fez (hat).

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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