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200th Anniversary of Chinese Migration to Australia

On the 20th of May 2018, more than 2,000 people from all walks of life gathered at the Town Hall of Sydney to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Chinese migration to Australia.

In 1818, Mak Sai Ying arrived in Sydney and became the first known Chinese born settler to Australia. Since then, A rich history of 200 years has been developed by Chinese Australians in this country.

This milestone event was hosted by the Organising Committee in Commemoration of the 200th Anniversary of Chinese Migration to Australia (OCCCMA), which represents ACPPRC and 279 other Australian Chinese community organisations.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, federal opposition leader Bill Shorten, and all 6 State premiers and 2 chief ministers of territories across Australia also sent congratulatory messages for the event.

Prof. Xiangmo Huang, president of OCCCMA, delivered an opening speech. He said, "For 200 years, Chinese migrants ... have worked with other ethnicities and contributed immensely in building a prosperous, affluent and harmonious Australia..."

The following speakers were invited to deliver official speeches:
The Hon. John Ajaka MLC, President of the Legislative Council of NSW
Mr. John Sidoti MP, Parliamentary Secretary to Cabinet, representing the NSW Premier
Mr. Luke Foley MP, Opposition Leader of NSW
Mr. Tong Xuejun, Deputy Consul General of PRC in Sydney
Mr Warren Mundine AO, former Chairman of the Australian Government’s Indigenous Advisory Council
The Hon. Ray Williams MP, Minister for Multiculturalism, and Minister for Disability Services

After that, the gala was presented in four main segments - Pioneers (1818-1900), Endeavors (1900-1975), Diversity (1975-2000) and Working Together (2000-2018)- to highlight the history of the Chinese migrants, with guest speakers reflecting on the history of Australian Chinese.

In the dialogue section of four main segments, the following hosts / guest speakers have been invited to the stage:
Mr. Barry Shying, Lineal descendant of the first Chinese migrant to Australia Mr Mak Sai Ying
Mr. John McEvoy, Descendant of the first Chinese Australian citizen Mr. Mei Quong Tart
Mr. Charles Zhang, Organiser of retracing the Chinese journey to Goldfields
Mr. Bill Au , Chairman of Chinese Museum in Melbourne
Dr. Michael Williams, Adjunct Fellow, Institute for Culture and Society at Western Sydney University
Prof. Jocelyn Chey, the first Cultural Counsellor of the Australian Embassy in Beijing
Delegates from Australian Chinese Ex-Services National Reunion: Lieutenant Colonel Robert Leedow (President) , Lieutenant Colonel Victor Tsang (Deputy President ); Tom Chong (Founding President); The Hon. Henry Tsang OAM (Patron); Mr. Michael Harkins(Coordinator)
The Hon. Bob Carr, Former Foreign Minister of Australia, Director of UTS Australia China Relations Institute
Ms.Sabina Peritore, Welcome Wall Project Assistant, Australian National Maritime Museum
Dr. Stepan Kerkyasharian AO, Former President of the Anti-Discrimination Board of NSW
Mr. King Fong OAM, King of Chinatown in Sydney
Ms. May Hu OAM, Former Senior Producer of SBS Radio
Associate Prof. He-Ling Shi, Department of Economics at Monash University
Prof. Barney Glover, Vice-Chancellor and President of Western Sydney University
Associate Prof. Fang Xu, School of Design Studies at UNSW
Mr. Jiawei Shen, Renowned Chinese Australian Portrait Artist

Various ethnic groups including the Aboriginal people also presented performances during the night to highlight Australia's cultural diversity.


(1)That this House notes that:

(a)on Sunday 20 May 2018 Sydney Town Hall was filled with 2,000 guests attending a gala night to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Chinese migration to Australia;

(b)the celebration was joined by the President of the Legislative Council, the Hon. John Ajaka, MLC; Mr John Sidoti, MP, representing the Premier; Mr Luke Foley, MP, Opposition Leader; the Hon. Ray Williams, MP, Minister for Multiculturalism; Mr Mark Coure, MP; the Hon, Shaoquett Moselmane, MLC, Opposition Whip; Dr Geoff Lee, MP; the Hon. Ernest Wong, MLC; shadow Ministers Jodi Mckay, MP; Guy Zangari, MP; and Chris Minns, MP, along with former Premier the Hon. Bob Carr and Helena Carr; former Federal Minister the Hon. Philip Ruddock; former Minister Virginia Judge; Mr Andrew Stoner; Mr Warren Mundine; a host of local government representatives; Chinese embassy and consular representatives; leading academics; business leaders; Chinese media representatives; and heads of associations as well as many Chinese descendants stretching back 200 years of Chinese migration;

(c)the President of the Organising Committee in commemorating of the 200th anniversary of Chinese migration to Australia, Professor Xiangmo Huang, acknowledged the descendants of the first known documented Chinese migrant to have arrived in Australia 200 years ago in 1818 from Guangdong, Mr Mak Sai Yin, in Port Jackson Sydney;

(d)according to the 2016 Census, more than 1.2 million Australians have Chinese ancestry, making 5 per cent of the total Australian population; and

(e)over the years Chinese migrants suffered significant discrimination, which intensified under the White Australia Policy, and it continues today perpetuated by individuals and political parties such as Pauline Hanson's One Nation, yet Chinese Australians continue to give, sacrifice, persevere and contribute to Australian society, making it one of the most successful multicultural societies in the world.

(2)That this House notes the work of the Organising Committee presidents, Professor Xiangmo Huang, Dr Frank Chou and Dr Fai Yuen Lam; executive presidents Professor Qun Shao, Fu Guan Wang and Dr Tony Goh; Secretary General Dr Ven Tan; as well as the 200 individuals and organisations that formed part of the Organising Committee.

(3)That this House congratulates the Presidents and the Organising Committee and all Chinese organisations for their commitment to Australia, as well as the 1.2 million Chinese Australians for their continued contribution, proving that after 200 years they continue to belong.