Mapping Chinese Heritage In NSW

Who’s involved

Migration Heritage Centre, NSW Heritage Office, Chinese communities throughout NSW.

When and where

Project location: NSW
Project status: Completed project
Date of completion: October 1999

Project description

Chinese history in Australia is part of Australian history. The history of the Chinese in NSW is long and fascinating, dating back more than 140 years, and extending from Sydney’s bustling Chinatown to towns and districts in regional and country areas. From market gardens at La Perouse to temples in Glebe and Alexandria, and from country-stores in the Northern tablelands to the mines and homesteads of the Goldrush days, Chinese heritage is a unique and important part of the heritage of the State.

‘Mapping Chinese Heritage’ identified and celebrated places and objects of value and importance to the Chinese community and to their history of settlement. The project involved working with communities throughout NSW in identifying sites of cultural and historical significance. So far, some places of heritage value have been successfully nominated and listed on the State Heritage Register. These include:

the Yiu Ming Temple in Alexandria, Sydney;
the La Perouse market gardens in Sydney, managed by members of the Chinese community for over 90 years;
the Wing Hing Long store in Tingha, regional NSW; and
a water race from the gold rush period at Windeyer in the State’s Central West.

A member of the Australian Chinese community, Karl Zhao, was appointed as Heritage Liaison Officer and worked on the project full time for one year. The Liaison Officer’s work with different groups and general role as facilitator assisted the community’s ability to recognise the importance of heritage items, greatly enhancing the project’s strategic focus, and was a key factor in its success.

What did the project achieve?

Recognising Chinese heritage in its variety of forms is one of the first steps in understanding and appreciating the contributions of Australians of Chinese descent in the economic development of isolated country areas and to social and cultural life across the State. The project ensured the State Heritage Register illustrates a more accurate picture of our culturally diverse history and provided valuable opportunities for the NSW Heritage Office and the Chinese Heritage Liaison Officer to share skills and experiences. The Heritage Office has also funded the purchase of the Wing Hing Long store by Guyra Shire Council and the preparation of a conservation management plan.

Project contact

Murray Brown – Principal Heritage Officer
NSW Heritage Office

Phone 02 9849 9580
Fax 02 9891 4688


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