Redefining the Mainstream: Local Government, Inclusive Communities

The Second National Conference on Reconciliation, Multiculturalism, Immigration and Human Rights


Dr Loong Wong
Chinatownsydney. com, Sydney

The Struggle for Space: Invisibility and the Chinese in Australia

The study of social movements in Australia have typically focussed on the big issues - environment, peace and women's movement. More recently, ethnic issues, particularly that of indigenous people, have come to the forefront. However, much of Australian history is still one-dimensional and monochromic. In this paper, I will examine the collective efforts of the Chinese in Australia to construct their social and political identities. The paper will examine the growth of community organisations within the Chinese community and present an analysis of a particular organisation. This paper seeks to challenge the view that the Chinese are apolitical and also to engage with the structural research blinkers informing the Chinese in Australia. It argues that to redefine the mainstream, social researchers and activists also need to 'rediscover' and redevelop their tools of historical and social understanding.

Loong is a social activist working on human rights issues and has been involved in the peace, indigenous rights' and environmental movements. He is also a web publisher and is one of the editors of www. chinatownsydney. com

Presentation Type
30 min. Paper

Equipment Requirements:


Deakin Woolstores Campus, Geelong Waterfront
30 November - 1 December 2001