Queensland Dragon: Chinese in the North

26 September 2015 – March 2016

A century ago, Chinese migrants constituted 20 to 30 per cent of the population of north Queensland’s major towns – Cairns, Port Douglas, Geraldton (Innisfail), Cooktown, Maytown, Atherton and Croydon. Numbering twenty-five to thirty thousand, these north Queensland Chinese workers played a significant role in the establishment, development and ongoing survival of townships in Far North Queensland.

This contribution has seldom been recognised in the official history of the region and in the local museums and historical societies in the region. To rectify this, Maria Friend, Museum Development Officer for Far North Queensland, brought together scholars of Chinese-Australian history and key local history museums and historical societies from across Far North Queensland to develop this exhibition in 2008. The exhibition has toured Cooktown, Croydon, Innisfail, Atherton, Cairns and Brisbane.

Thanks to the generosity of the Queensland Museum, the Chinese Museum is proud to be able to bring this ground-breaking exhibition to Melbourne audiences. Supporting the exhibition will be items from the Chinese Museum’s collection.

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Image courtesy of John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland Neg: 121707