During this walk we will explore the Chinese experience in colonial New South Wales. You will hear the fascinating story of one of this area’s earliest migrant populations, and visit some associated heritage sites.
Access to skilled and reliable labour was a problem in early New South Wales, and particularly so after convict transportation ended in 1840. A plan to contract Chinese mechanics and labourers was proposed as early as 1837. Some of those from the Canberra area that backed the plan were Charles Campbell, George Thomas Palmer, and Thomas McQuoid. Later, the gold rushes attracted thousands of Chinese miners. Inevitably, some Chinese men married European women, had children and settled down. They went on to run a network of gardens, stores, eating houses and boarding rooms essential to life in towns across the colony. Henry Lawson celebrated them, and Braidwood’s Quong Tart became as well regarded as the Governor.
One Chinese-European family became part of the commercial, journalistic and religious fabric of Queanbeyan and Canberra. A notable member of the Tankey family will recount the contributions of the early Chinese to the Queanbeyan district, one of whom became the business partner of a militant Canberran that led a national political party. Hidden symbolic treasures will be revealed!
Walk Leaders: Tony Maple and Donna Zhao
Meeting place: TBA
Bookings essential: https://hidden-treasures-the-first-chinese.eventbrite.com.au
Bad weather: Unless otherwise advised by email, the leader will be at the meeting point where a decision will be made as to whether to proceed or postpone.
Note: For the comfort and safety of other walkers, we do not allow dogs on our walks.