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We are happy to announce that our member organisation the Chinese Australian Historical Society are excited to present a talk by Kira Brown on “Opium Wars, conflict and fortuity | from Canton to Tingha via Ballarat | the separate journeys of three Chinese men, their interconnecting lives and interracial relationships” at the Mitchell Library on September 28th, 2019.


Abstract | This presentation is accompanied by numerous relevant documents and photographs of people and artefacts. It traces the migratory paths of three native Chinese men from Guangdong in Southern China to the Australian colonies. It explores the reasons for their leaving and the adverse circumstances they encountered.

The colonies offered opportunities for wealth-acquisition and security, but prevailing white racism presented formidable barriers. Undaunted, the promise of prosperity outweighed the obstacles. Chen Quin Jack and Samuel Yaupaung arrived in the early days of the gold rushes of the 1850s, followed later by Lee Kee Chong in the early 1880s.

In constructing their new lives, the first two married young women of European extraction, from the lower socio-economic class of settlers. Lee Kee Chong, arriving later, and partnered with, what was then termed, a half-caste wife from within one particular fledgling family (Yaupaung) in the segregated Chinese community.

The families they all started, today make-up a typical admixture of ABC’s (Australian Born Chinese) and European. Geographically the trajectories of these families intersected and focussed in the mining town of Tingha and surrounding districts in Northern NSW.


When |    Saturday 28 September 2019 | 2:30 pm

Where |  Mitchell Theatre, Sydney Mechanics School of Arts, Level 1, 280 Pitt Street Sydney

RSVP |   Here

Kira Brown |  A 5th generation mixed-ABC (Australian Born Chinese), originally from Coonabarabran, she now lives in Orange NSW. Inspired by an inherited collection of Chinese related artefacts and ephemera, she is immersed in her family history and contributed a presentation at the 2017 Dragontails conference.