ACIAC Chinese Australian History Seminar Series (Lecture 1)

Michael series 1 web


Date: Tuesday, 3 March, 2020

Time: 12.00 - 1.00 pm

Venue: EA.G.03, Australia-China Institute for Arts and Culture, Western Sydney University Parramatta South campus

FREE. Limited seats. Please RSVP HERE (opens in a new window) before 2 March, 2020.


Following up on his overview of Chinese Australian history – Mirroring the Past (opens in a new window)– Dr Michael Williams will continue with a series of lectures taking us through the history of Chinese Australia in greater detail. The first of these – Before there was gold – covers the pre-gold rush period and examines Australian and Chinese connections before the European invasion and the elements of discovery, trade and labour that foreshadowed much of the ensuing history. A ‘reflective history’, Michael discusses not only what happened but also how perspectives of the past are constantly evolving and reflecting our modern concerns and prejudices.

Seminar Series

  • Before there was gold                pre-1788 to 1851
  • From gold to artisans                        1851 to 1881
  • Merchants and the Qing                    1881 to 1911
  • A white Australia tested                     1911 to 1936
  • Wars and Revolutions                        1936 to 1972
  • One (multicultural) Nation                  1972 to 2020

Biographymichael headshot image

Dr Michael Williams is a graduate of Hong Kong University, a scholar of Chinese-Australian history and a founding member of the Chinese-Australian Historical Society. He is the author of Returning Home with Glory (HKU Press, 2018), which traces the history of peoples from south China’s Pearl River Delta around the Pacific Ports of Sydney, Hawaii and San Francisco. Michael has taught at Beijing Foreign Studies and Peking Universities and is currently an Adjunct Fellow at Western Sydney University. His current research includes the Dictation Test, early Chinese Opera in Australia and a history of the Chinese in Australia.