Chinatown 8 (Sydney)

Every city seems to have – or seems to feel need for – a “Chinatown” (a rather catch all word). In the case of Sydney this mostly refers to the Dixon St, Haymarket area which for the greater part of 20th century was a major focus for Chinese Australians. Even so, Upper George Street and The Rocks nearer Sydney Harbour was for long the “Chinese Street” and later the Surry Hills area near the now gone Wexford Street was home for many years to a high concentration of Chinese Australians. Nowadays suburbs such as Chatswood and Hurstville have significant proportions of people of either Chinese heritage or that are China-born. [See also Chinatown 8 (Melbourne)]

While for some period considered a ghetto, the Haymarket Chinatown nevertheless boasts a range of activities and a complex history which this Chinatown 8 serves to hint at.

  • Disappearing heritage: 82-84 Dixon St
  • They too served: Veterans Memorial
  • International Traders: Wing Sang, Campbell St
  • Self-orientalising: Dixon St gates
  • ASIO concerned: Chinese Youth League
  • Entertaining Sydney: Mandarin Club
  • Political focus: KMT Buidling
  • Canton and back: Wong Yee building
Philip Lee Chun and his properties at 82-84 Dixon St, Haymarket
Chinese Australian’s Veteran Memorial
Once feared by ASIO, the Chinese Youth League now specialises in Lion Dances and Table Tennis.
The “Chinese Street” is transformed into “a fair-
dinkum Chinatown” (just like San Francisco or Hong Kong?)
Kuomintang – Nationalist Party HQ – political and social centre of the community
Cnr Ultimo Rd & Thomas St: Once central to the banana trade.
Wing Sang & Co, Campbell Street, Sydney
Mandarin Club, once a centre for International celebrities