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 provides 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.
Keynote speakers will be Senator Tsebin Tchen and Professor John Hirst.
The full list of conference speakers and papers is available on the
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