Your "name" sounds very similar to another that I have run across on a soc croaita message board. Are you the same person?
Anyway just a note Croatia is not part of Yugoslavia, but once again an independent republic. And I don't know what you mean when you say "he came to Austrailia many years ago" but if it was prior to 1929 he did not come from Yugoslavia. From 1918 to 1929 Croatia was a part of the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. Prior to that Croatia was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, from 1100 to 1918, end of WW I.
BUT regardless of what entity was over Croatia records for Nikola would be in Croatia. Also the LDS (Mormon) church has microfilmed many records inc. church records. Those records are available to you at one of their local Family History Centers (FHC) also in Australia. Refer to my link for Family Search to locate a FHC near you.
There are 5 listings for BRENER in Croatia online phone book in Zagreb county.
The name appears to be of German origins. Germans, called Danube Schwabians, lived in the Slavonia region of Croatia and had since the A-H Empire liberated the area from the Ottoman Turks around the 17th or 18th century. There is a link in my list to their genealogy.
Here is a link to Croatian Austalian genealogy http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Hollow/6442/naturalizatio...
According to the listings at Ellis Island web page many BRENER appear to have come from Russia, Roumania, Poland, Germany and Hungary. There is one, Anna BRENER (declared German ethnicity), who came from Palanka, "Yugoslavia" in the 1920s. That town is part of Srijem, which until 1918 was a part of the Hungarian Croatian county of Srijem. It is now in Serbia or rump "Yugoslavia". Another Ivanka BRENER from Cerknica, "Yugoslavia" declared Slovene ethnicity. Stefan BRENER Semlin (don't think this placename is correct could be Smiljan where Nikola Tesla was born), Croatia declared ethnicity Croatian
Refer to list for link to Ellis Island (US immigration port)
Useful links for Croatian genealogy, inc. Bosnia, Lika, etc Updated 5-28-01
Links to info about Croatia including history and tourism
CROATIA, an Overview of its History, Culture and Sciencehttp://mirror.veus.hr/darko/etf/etfss.html
Appleby in Rijeka, Croatia has a good genealogy page:http://www.appleby.net/genealogy.html
Links to organizations Associated with FEEFHS from 14 Countries, inc. Croatia:http://feefhs.org/ethnic.html
Croatians Books, Croatian Immigration, Croatian Coats of Arms, Croatian Genealogy, Croatian Heraldry, Ragusan Press Books, CGHS- By Adam S. Eterovich. Croatian Genealogical and Heraldic Society, research availablehttp://www.croatians.com/index.html
A Croatian genealogy newsletter:http://www.durham.net/facts/crogen/newsltr.html
Croatia links, plus lots morehttp://www.croatia.net/
The Province of Burgenland, Austria, was formed from parts of the Hungarian counties (Megye) of Vas, Sopron and Moson following WWI. While it is Austria's youngest province, it can claim to be one of the oldest. It has a fascinating history worthy of being studied in detail. The population comprises people of mainly Germanic, Croatian and Hungarian descent.http://www.spacestar.com/users/hapander/burgen.html
The next two links are to sites about White Croatia, in ancient times white signified north and red south thus the red and white checkered Croatian Coat of Arms. This area is in present day Poland, including Krakow, and was populated by White Croatians as early as the 1st century AD. At one time this was a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and was called Galicia.http://www.freenet.kiev.ua:8080/ciesin/Ukraine/ivfr-hist.htm...http://www.kresy.co.uk/galicja.html
Croats of Slovakia arrived in the mid sixteenth centuryhttp://www.hr/darko/etf/croslov.html
Moravian Croats arrived in the 16 th century from central Croatia, fleeing the Ottoman Turkish invasionhttp://www.hr/darko/etf/cromor.html
A Kingdom called White Croatia existed from the 1st thru the 10th century in what is now part of Czech Rep., Slovak Rep., and Southern Poland, where many descendents of White Croatians still live todayhttp://www.hr/darko/etf/et01.html#slav
This link has history of Zumberak and Uskoci in Croatiahttp://www.sandsmachine.com/hist_001.htm
A good site to learn about tourism and all the beautiful and historic places in Croatia, there is also a section on the language.http://www.htz.hr/home.php
Genealogy message boards/forums
Croatia genforum message board:http://genforum.genealogy.com/croatia/
Rootsweb genealogy message board:http://cgi.rootsweb.com/~genbbs/genbbs.cgi/Croatia/General
Croatia based HR message boardhttp://www.hr/webbbs/genealogy/
Family History message board of Ancestry.comhttp://www.familyhistory.com/messages/Messages.asp?msgindex=...
Usenet Slavic genealogy newsgroup (must be setup to receive newsgroups)
MAPS, PLACENAME LOCATORS, ETC.
Place name locator for the world, inc. Croatia:http://www.multimap.com/index/HR1.htm
Croatia and Bosnia maps:http://www.kakarigi.net/maps/
Croatia town and city locator. Due to the lack of being able to view Croatian letters with diacritical markings the names may appear a bit unusual but just use common sense and you will find the place you are seeking.http://www.calle.com/world/croatia/index.html
1910 Hungarian County Maps, inc. areas of Croatia and Slavonia (site is in Hungarian but maps are useful)
Click on LINKS and then click on 1910 Hungarian County Maps, Croatian areas will be included in Lika-Kravaba, Modrus-Fiume, Zagrab, Varasd, Belovar, Baranya, Veroce, Szerem and Pozsega.http://www.familytree.hu/
ShtelSeeker a good place name locator for all Eastern Europehttp://www.jewishgen.org/ShtetlSeeker/loctown.htm
Having trouble finding a place? Perhaps this is due to a change in the name of the town or village. This link has Croatian Place Names Alternate spellings (Austria, Hungary and Italy) and FHL Microfilm Summaryhttp://feefhs.org/cro/crotowns.html
Here are links to maps which will give you an idea of the Austria Hungary Monarchy and their provinces so you can get some idea how that relates to Croatia today.http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/austhung.htmhttp://www.sandafayre.com/atlas/ahempia.htm
A general article about the history of surnameshttp://www.rootscomputing.com/howto/names/names.htm
Ancestry com, here you can look up US Social Security Death records and US phone listingshttp://www.ancestry.com/?sourceid=00325405801503816180
LDS on line genealogy name search. . Many church records in Croatia have been microfilmed by the LDS. You can search this site by village/town name to see if your ancestors church has been microfilmed, which can be ordered at a local Family History Center, refer to next link for list of FHC near you!http://www.familysearch.com/
Search for a Family History Centers near youhttp://www.familysearch.com/Eng/Library/FHC/frameset_fhc.asp
Stories abound about US Immigration officials changing our forbearerâ€™s names. But are these stories true? Here is a link which delves into what may be just a â€œfamily legendâ€ without basis!http://www.ins.usdoj.gov/graphics/aboutins/history/articles/...
Link to Ellis Island records, including immigrant information, place of origin, ship name and much more. Be sure to view the original ship manifest, the one that was handwritten. Donâ€™t rely on the typed info which contains errors. The original manifest will also contain more personal info.http://www.ellisislandrecords.org/
This page contains information about where to obtain vital records (such as birth, death & marriage certificates and divorce decrees) from each state, territory and county of the United States.http://www.vitalrec.com/
Web page for The Vivodina Society, northern Croatiahttp://homestead.juno.com/dberkley/files/home.htm
Family Tree Software
Here is a link to FREE downloadable family tree software from the LDS (Mormon) church, I know several people who use it and like ithttp://www.familysearch.com/
Searching for family records in Croatia and the US, inc. parish records and US Immigration records
United States Immigration and Naturalization Service Website contains information about the INS Historical Reference Library collection and serviceshttp://www.ins.usdoj.gov/graphics/aboutins/history/index.htm
Naturalization Resources general and by US statehttp://www.rootsweb.com/~fianna/oc/usa/naturl.html
Locating family records in Croatiahttp://www.durham.net/facts/crogen/croatia.html
Not all Croatians are ethnic Croats, here are links to some of ethnic groups in Croatia
Finding Jewish Family Records in Croatiahttp://www.jewishgen.org/infofiles/Croatia.htm
A link to information about Germans, Donauschwabians, in Croatia (Slavonia):http://www.genealogy.net/gene/reg/ESE/dsslawon.html
History of German Settlements in Southern Hungary (inc. Croatia)http://www.genealogy.net/gene/reg/ESE/dshist.txt
The Vlachs in Bosnia (and Croatia)http://www.farsarotul.org/nl16_1.htm
Istro-Romanians in Croatiahttp://www.istroromanian.net/
History of the Arbanasi in Croatiahttp://www.hwcn.org/~ae987/Curkovic/Arbanasi.html
ON LINE PHONE BOOKS
Croatia on line phone books. NOTE: to use the on line phone books first select area code (zupanija which means county), then type in the name you are searching for next to Subscriber, then check the circle next to csz (this will allow use of English style keyboards), select 100 results and then click on query. You will see the list of names. The listings include phone number and mailing addresses and will also give you the correct Croatian spelling, with diacritical marks over csz. Be sure not to use the Anglicized or Americanized version I. E. ch or sh when searching. The page will also display as list of towns by county if you click on that bar. Information includes phone number, name, address and city.http://imenik.hinet.hr/imenik-asp/index.asp?lang=us
Worldwide Phone Directory index of online phone books, with over 400 links to Yellow Pages, White Pages, Business Directories, Email Addresses and Fax Listings from over 170 countries all around the world.http://www.teldir.com/eng/
Bosnia on line phone directory The Bosnia phone book is available on line. Just type in the surname next to preizime select Kanton which is the region and then click on Trazi (search)http://www.imenik.ptt.ba/osoba1.html
Religions in Croatiahttp://www.dalmatia.net/croatia/religion/
Eastern Rite Church in Croatiahttp://www.geocities.com/mysticrose.geo/eastlink.html
First Croatian Church in UShttp://saintnicholas.webprovider.com/index.htm
Catholic Church in Croatiahttp://www.hbk.hr/
Professional genealogical research services for Croatia
Zeljko â€œFritzâ€ Friganâ€™s Croatia Rootswww.croatianroots.com
Adam Eterovich CROATIAN HERITAGEhttp://www.croatians.com/
Genealogical research for about 3000 family names originating from Dubrovnik city, Konavle, Zupa dubrovacka, Rijeka dubrovacka, Dubrovacko primorje, Peljesac, Kolocep, Lopud, Sipan and Lastovo http://www.geocities.com/paris/cathedral/7835/index.html
Croatian Fraternal Union of Americahttp://www.croatianfraternalunion.org/
Croatian Catholic Union of United States and Canada http://www.ccu-usa-can.org/
A good search engine, just type in surname followed by genealogy may find others who have information you are seekinghttp://www.google.com/
Good Luck! Let me know how it goes or if you have any other questions.
Croatian Heritage Museum
Cleveland, Ohio, USA