Queensland Dragon, Chinese in the North

Chinese Hut Man in front of bark hut on a banana plantation, Cairns. C 1890. Image SLQ Chinese in the North Three men pose under the portal lantern of the Hou Wang Miau temple, Atherton. C 1908. Image SLQ.

Chinese migrants have played an important role in the development of local agriculture, trades and services since the late 19th century. At the time, it was estimated approximately thirty thousand Chinese had migrated to North Queensland.

Most of the migrants arrived in the wake of the 1875 gold rush in the Palmer River area.

The migrants, mostly from the Guangzhou province and Hong Kong settled in some of North Queensland’s major towns including:

  • Cairns
  • Cooktown
  • Innisfail
  • Atherton
  • Croydon

Many returned to China after several years; while others moved on to find work in the emerging townships of north Queensland.

Their hard work and diligence were vital for the development of local agriculture, trade and services.

The contribution of Chinese migrants has seldom been recognised in the official history of the region. This exhibition acknowledges the history and achievements of this group of Australians.

Event Details

19 July 2010 - 22 August 2010

Of Interest