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Issue Details: First known date: 1999... 1999 The Identity of the Chinese in Australian History
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Theorising about identity has become fashionable. During 1999 alone several conferences and seminars were dedicated to identities in Australia: "Alter/Asians: Exploring Asian/Australian Identities, Cultures and Politics in an Age of Crisis" held in Sydney in February, the one-day conference "Cultural Passports" on the concept and representations of "home" held at the University of Sydney in June, and "Asian-Australian Identities: The Asian Diaspora in Australia" at the Australian National University in September. To me as a Chinese who had his childhood and education in New Zealand this concern with identity is not exceptional: I remain a keen reader of New Zealand fiction and poetry in which Pakeha New Zealanders have agonised and problematised their search for identity as an island people living among an aggressive indigenous population and in an insecure dependent economy. New Zealand identity has always been problematised as has Chinese identity: what does it mean to be Chinese?l Now Asian identity has become the current issue: "We're not Asians" was the title of the paper by Lily Kong on identity among Singaporean students in Australia.2 White Australians appear much more content and complacent with their identity and do not indulge as much in navel gazing. And yet it may be that it is the "Australian identity" that needs to be challenged and contested so that it becomes less an exclusively WASP-ish male mateship and more inclusive of women, Aborigines and Asians.' (Introduction)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Queensland Review vol. 6 no. 2 November 1999 Z1095049 1999 periodical issue

    'This issue of Queensland Review makes no argument about Queensland in particular. If an implicit argument about Queensland might be imposed on the papers presented here, it is that historically, the polyethnic qualities of northern townships like Broome, Darwin and Thursday Island, present such strong similarities, and read so differently from the more profuse southern histories, that the differences of experience between geographic regions like north and south, or between pearling belt and metropolis, appear possibly more historically consistent than differences between states.

    The north Australian experience was strongly influenced by the massive influx of Asian labour. This influx continued beyond Federation until World War II, largely because the pearling industry, one of the economic mainstays of the far north, was exempted from the provision of the White Australia policy.' (Extract) 

    pg. 1-10
Last amended 1 Aug 2019 09:47:19
1-10 The Identity of the Chinese in Australian Historysmall AustLit logo Queensland Review