Queensland Dragon: Chinese in the North

19 July 2010

 A new exhibition exploring the history of Chinese migrants in North Queensland opens at the Museum of Tropical Queensland, Monday 19 July.

Queensland Dragon, Chinese in the North documents the early contribution of Chinese migrants from the 1870’s during the Palmer River Gold Rush through to their contribution to Australia’s wartime efforts in the 1940’s.

At its peak in 1877, it is believed there were approximately 18,000 Chinese miners working in the Palmer River gold fields, representing 90 percent of miners there at the time. Most of the Chinese miners had travelled from villages in South China’s Pearl River Delta, Guangzhou (Canton) province and Hong Kong.

Museum of Tropical Queensland Director Peter McLeod said the Chinese migrants made a significant contribution to new and growing townships in North Queensland after the gold rush.

“Many migrants remained in North Queensland after the gold rush so Queensland Dragon also highlights the contribution of Chinese migrants across industries such as fishing, pearling and farming,” Mr McLeod said.

“The migrants brought with them their rich culture including cuisine, language and religion along with their strong work ethics and unique farming techniques which enabled them to farm land in the north that was otherwise considered non-arable.

“While the story of Chinese migrants is interpreted at attractions such as the Hou Wang Miau Chinese Temple in Atherton, Queensland Dragon presents a wonderful opportunity for locals to familiarise themselves with the history of Chinese migrants in North Queensland,” Mr McLeod said.

Queensland Dragon, Chinese in the North will be on display at the Museum of Tropical Queensland until 20 August 2010.

Entry to the Museum of Tropical Queensland is free for locals through the Council Community Pass, supported by Townsville, Burdekin, Charters Towers and Hinchinbrook councils.

The Museum of Tropical Queensland, part of the Queensland Museum, is open from 9.30am - 5pm daily.

Media Contacts:
Mei Nee Cheong 4726 0603 or 0414 264 987
Stephen Wilson 4726 0604 or 0431 334 583