ACIAC Chinese Australian History Seminar Series 2 (Lecture 1)

From Family Story to Australia’s Story:

Tim Watts in Conversation with Stephen FitzGerald

Tim watts update 2


Date: Thursday, 22 April 2021

Time: 4.00-5.00 pm AEDT

Live webinar via ZOOM

RSVP Essential. Please RSVP HERE to receive your webinar link.


From the success of the Chinese Australian History Series 1 in 2020, the Australia-China Institute for Arts and Culture is very pleased to launch Series 2, with the first lecture entitled From Family Story to Australia’s Story, featuring Tim Watts MP in conversation with Professor Stephen FitzGerald.

Tim Watts’s ancestor was a member of the local Anti-Chinese Committee in the 1850s and involved in lobbying the parliament to impose a poll tax that prevented Chinese arrivals from disembarking in Victorian ports, and that started the Walk from Robe. More than one and a half centuries later, Tim took his four-year-old Hong-Kong-Chinese-Australian son to go through the Walk from Robe as an historical excursion. “This is the Australia of my ancestors, but it’s not the Australia of my family today,” says Tim in his recently published book The Golden Country. In this book, Tim explores the development of Australian identity, including an alternative concept raised by Stephen FitzGerald of Australia becoming a unique “honey-coloured society” to the White Australia.

Tim Watts in Conversation with Stephen FitzGerald will discuss issues of discrimination, inequality, bamboo ceiling and skewed egalitarianism towards Asian-Australians in the context of “investing in a new Australian identity that brings people together in The Golden Country”.

BiographiesTim Watts bio

Tim Watts MP (opens in a new window)

Tim Watts is the Federal Labor Member for Gellibrand and the Shadow Assistant Minister for Communications and Shadow Assistant Minister for Cyber Security. Since being elected, Tim has been an active advocate on issues ranging from family violence, Australian aid, cyber security, refugee and asylum policy, cycling and Australia’s engagement with Asia. Before entering Parliament, Tim worked in the Australian telecommunications and IT sectors for the better part of a decade. Tim has a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) from Bond University, Master of Public Policy from Monash University and Master of Politics and Communication from the London School of Economics.

Professor Stephen FitzGerald AO (opens in a new window)Steve Fiz bi colour

Professor Stephen FitzGerald was Australia’s first ambassador to the People’s Republic of China and China adviser to Gough Whitlam in opposition and as Prime Minister. He chaired the 1980s committee of the Asian Studies Association of Australia and later became chair of the Asian Studies Council. This Council wrote a strategy for Asia in Australian education. He subsequently founded the Asia-Australia Institute, dedicated to making Australia part of the Asian region through think tank activities and regular forums. He chaired the government’s Committee to Advise on Australia’s Immigration Policies, which wrote the landmark report, Immigration: A Commitment to Australia. He has been advisor to the Federal and Northern Territory governments, and the governments of Australia, Britain, Denmark and others on governance-related aid in China and Southeast Asia.

He is currently the Deputy Chair of the Museum of Chinese in Australia, Distinguished Fellow at the Whitlam Institute at Western Sydney University, and Board Member of China Matters.

Seminar Series

*  From Family Story to Australia's Story: Tim Watts MP in Conversation with Stephen  FitzGerald AO [Watch Online] (opens in a new window)