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Category: Interviews »

Subject: Cultural Studies »

Impact of Chinese on the public culture of Victoria

Mara Moustafine and Mark Wang.

Mark Wang summarises the impact of the Chinese people on the public culture of Victoria



Date Added:

09 March 2009


source not available


mov (Quicktime);

File size:

8.7 MB






I think Chinese food’s been part of the way that Chinese people have assimilated with Australian people for many – for centuries, well not for centuries but for decades, you know, people have communicated with the general public through food. But very much so since the 1960s I would say, particularly with restaurants, but you know, you got to every country town in – around Australia and there’s a Chinese restaurant and that’s sort of been there since, you know, the 1900s or before, since the gold rush and Chinese people have always been good cooks and so they’ve expressed their life through cooking.


It’s really hard to say how – I don’t think – prior to the last 20 or 30 years, I would say that Chinese people haven’t had a very big impact on the Australian society, there are quite famous people as individuals, in the community like, Victor Chang and Dr John Yuhu, are recent sort of people who have done well in the medical field, we’ve got a Chinese lord mayor now in Melbourne. And back in the days of the 1800s Australian Chinese people set up most of the department stores in China, the Sincere Company, Wingon, were all set up by Chinese people. But that’s in China so – but I don’t think the Chinese have had a great impact on Australian society as a whole.


There are – but in the last 30 years I’d say, you know, they’re becoming – well Australia more so is becoming part of an international society, I think that if Chinese weren’t part of Australia, I think Australia might become more insulated from the rest of the world. Or attach themselves to America and England more than the rest of the world. I think we now add a dimension to an international scene and Australia – we have to recognise Australia as part of the, you know, the – our region. We’re so close to Indonesia and China and all of South-East Asia, it’s ridiculous we aren’t connected to them in some way.


The Chinese as a community, the Chinese Government would call overseas Chinese people, they’ve always been a very influential or important part of the connection between China and Australia. And that goes throughout the world whether it be China and Singapore or China and Malaysia, overseas Chinese people are an important link to China. And through the Chinese Government is always through – over time, whether it be now or 100 years ago, have always regarded the Chinese community as a ways in which they can enlist support from Australia as a society.


End transcript