Chinese Australian History Online Seminar at the Institute for Australian and Chinese Arts and Culture (IAC)
On 7 December 2022, PhD candidate Christopher Cheng will give a talk at the IAC at Western Sydney University about Chinese-Australian diaspora education philanthropy in Zhongshan a century ago.
This talk concerns pre-tertiary schools financed by the diaspora originating from Zhongshan county in Guangdong Province. Through a longitudinal analysis of over 30 modern school buildings between 1911 and 2021, it chronicles homeland educational philanthropy over the past century. It establishes that the development of diaspora-initiated educational philanthropy in their ancestral home reflects social and political changes in China and in the residential orientation of the Zhongshan diaspora in Australia. In the transforming landscape of educational philanthropy, the transition from sojourner to settler and homecoming descendant over the past century has resulted in three discrete and successive outcomes: first, creating a new future; second, improving educational prospects; and finally, leaving behind a legacy.