Michael Williams

Michael Williams is a graduate of Hong Kong University, a scholar of Chinese-Australian history and a founding member of the Chinese-Australian Historical Society.

He is the author of Returning Home with Glory (HKU Press, 2018), which traces the history of peoples from south China’s Pearl River Delta around the Pacific Ports of Sydney, Hawaii and San Francisco.

Michael has taught at Beijing Foreign Studies and Peking Universities and is currently an Adjunct Professor at Western Sydney University. His current research includes the Dictation Test, early Chinese Opera in Australia and a history of the Chinese in Australia.


Research Focus

  • Chinese Australian history
  • Chinese in the World (Chinese Diaspora)
  • Dictation Test – The test it was a crime to fail

Selected Publications

Ely Finch (trans) 2019: The Poison of Polygamy
About the author: Wong Shee Ping
Why is polygamy poisonous? An historical context (co-author Meifen Kuo)

Williams, M 2018, Returning home with glory: Chinese villagers around the Pacific, 1849 to 1949 (榮歸故里:太平洋地區的中國僑鄉 1849–1949), Hong Kong University Press, Hong Kong.

Williams, M 2012, Entertaining Dungog – more than a picture palace, Friends of the James Theatre.

Williams, M 2012, A history in three rivers, Dungog Shire Heritage Study, Carste Studio Heritage Consultants, Dungog Shire Council

Williams, M 2006, Departed Friends, Journal of Chinese Australia, Issue 2, October 2006.

Williams, M 2004, ‘Would This Not Help Your Federation’, After the rush : regulation, participation and Chinese communities in Australia, 1860-1940, , Otherland, pp.35-50.

Williams, M 2004, ‘Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta Qiaoxiang‘, Modern Asian Studies, vol. 38, part 2, pp. 257-282.

Williams, M 2003, ‘In the Tang Mountains we have a Big House‘, East Asian History, vol. 25/26, June/December, pp. 85-112.

Williams, M 2003, ‘Chinese Australia – the view from the village‘, Locality, Autumn, pp. 17-22.

Williams, M 2003, ‘Anglo-Saxonizing machines: Exclusion America, White Australia’Chinese America – History and Perspectives, vol. 17, pp. 23-33.

Williams, M 2000, ‘Observations of a China Consul‘, Locality, Vol. 11, no.2, pp. 24-31.

Williams, M 1999, “Brief Sojourn in Your Native Land: Sydney links with South China”, Queensland Review, Vol. 6, No. 2.

Williams, M, ‘Brief Sojourn in Your Native Land – Sydney’s Huaqiao and Their Links With South China During the First Half of the Twentieth Century’, Asians in Australian History Conference, Griffith University, June 1999.

Williams, M 1999, Chinese settlement in NSW – a thematic history, Heritage Office of NSW, Sydney.


Mirroring the Past: Chinese-Australia in Historical Perspective

Book Reviews


Zhongshan County