Asian Studies Program

Chinese Australia

The Chinese Heritage of Australian Federation Conference


*AFTER THE RUSH*

S.Couchman, J.Fitzgerald, P.Macgregor (eds), After the Rush: Regulation, Participation and Chinese Communities in Australia 1860-1940, Special edition of Otherland, vol.9, December 2004. Selected papers from the Chinese Heritage of Australian Federation Project conference have recently been published. Copies are available for A$29.95 (plus postage if by mail order) using the attached order form.

Conference Program and abstracts

Held on Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd July 2000 at: The Chinese Museum, 22 Cohen Place (In Melbourne's Chinatown) Melbourne Keynote Speakers - Senator Tsebin Tchen Professor John Hirst

The commemoration of Australian federation provides a unique opportunity to recover and recall neglected aspects of Australian Chinese communities and China's view of Australia.

This conference brought together Chinese and Australians, scholars and genealogists, community historians, archivists and museum curators, and others concerned with the history of Chinese Australians. The two days of the conference were devoted to paper presentations and seminars.

Members of the Chinese Australian community were major contributors to the celebrations commemorating the opening of the new federal parliament in May 1901. They organised a large dragon parade through central Melbourne, an impressive archway over Swanston Street and were also represented on the organising committee.

Despite such as strong display of support for federation, and for the visiting Duke and Duchess of York and Cornwell, the first major Act passed by the new federal government was the Immigration Restriction Act (1901) that effectively blocked further immigration of Chinese into Australia. One of the strong unifying forces of federation was the desire to create a 'White Australia'.

This conference provided an opportunity for a range of scholars, genealogists, community historians, archivists, museum curators and others concerned with the history of Chinese Australians to explore this conundrum and to recover and recall other neglected aspects of Australian Chinese communities during the federation period - and China's view of Australia at that time.

 

Chinese Heritage of Australian Federation Project - Conference