Catch up Online - ACIAC Chinese Australian History Seminar Series 1 (Lecture 4): A white Australia tested (1911 to 1936)

This period was one of major interaction between the White Australia bureaucracy and a Chinese Australian community that fell in overall numbers as its proportion of Australian-born members increased. It was also in this period that the sterotype of the "Chinese as market gardeners" took hold just as other features of their activity faded in both reality and memory. This was a process intensified by a whitewashing of Australian history that saw, for example, a 1925 Australian Encyclopedia list under CHINESE merely – see immigration restriction. That Chinese people in Australia were mere fodder for discrimination with no agency of their own is a perception still strong today. In addition, to the themes of interaction between the White Australia bureaucracy and Chinese Australians, the choices people made and had are examined so as not to neglect a diversity too easily obscured by labels such as “Chinese Australian”, while finally some reflections on this period of history generated by contemporary perspectives and concerns are surveyed.

Seminar Series

* Background: Mirroring the Past   [Watch Online (opens in a new window)]

* Before there was gold   pre-1788 to 1851  [Watch Online (opens in a new window)]

* From gold to artisans   1851 to 1881 [Watch Online (opens in a new window)]

* Merchants and the Qing   1881 to 1911 [Watch Online (opens in a new window)]

* A white Australia tested                     1911 to 1936

* Wars and Revolutions                        1936 to 1972

* One (multicultural) Nation                  1972 to 2020