Chinese Australians

Politics, Engagement and Resistance

In Chinese Australians: Politics, Engagement and Resistance key scholars explore how Chinese Australians in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries influenced the communities in which they lived on a civic or individual level. With a focus on the motivations and aspirations of their subjects, the authors draw on biography, world history, case law, newspapers and immigration case files to investigate the political worlds of Chinese Australians. The book also introduces current literature and thinking about the history of the Chinese in Australia and includes a postscript that reflects on the importance of historical analysis to current day political science.
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Biographical Note

Sophie Couchman, Ph.D. (2009), La Trobe University, is an Honorary Research Fellow at that university and Curator at the Chinese Museum in Melbourne. She has published on the history of Chinese in Australia, including co-editing After the Rush (2004). Kate Bagnall, Ph.D. (2007), University of Sydney, is a Research Associate in the ANU College of Asia & the Pacific in Canberra. She writes on Chinese-Australian history, specialising in the history of women, children and the family.

Table of contents

Editors' Note List of Contributors Introduction Chinese Australians: Politics, Engagement and Resistance Sophie Couchman Chapter One The Transformative Effect of Australian Experience on the Life of Ho A Mei, Hong Kong Community Leader and Entrepreneur Pauline Rule Chapter Two Chinese Political Values in Colonial Victoria: Lowe Kong Meng and the Legacy of the July 1880 Election Paul Macgregor Chapter Three The Chinese Empire Encounters the British Empire and Its ‘Colonial Dependencies’: Melbourne, 1887 Marilyn Lake Chapter Four Law as Politics: Chinese Litigants in Australian Colonial Courts Mark Finnane Chapter Five Confucian Heritage, Public Narratives and Community Politics of Chinese Australians at the Beginning of the 20th Century Mei-fen Kuo Chapter Six The Rise of Labor: A Chinese Australian Participates in Bendigo Local Politics at a Formative Moment, 1904–1905 Amanda Rasmussen Chapter Seven Anglo-Chinese and the Politics of Overseas Travel from New South Wales, 1898 to 1925 Kate Bagnall Chapter Eight Chinese Politics in Darwin: Interconnections between the Wah On Society and the Kuo Min Tang Julia Martínez Chapter Nine Chinese Australians and the Public Diplomacy Challenge for Australia in the 21st Century John Fitzgerald Postscript Beyond ‘Two Worlds’ Jen Tsen Kwok Index


All interested in the history of people of Chinese ancestry in Australia, in particular the engagement of Chinese Australians with local, national and international political forces.