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Professions

Professions

In this scene, Chinese Australian professionals are represented by politicians Alec Fong Lim, Harry Chan and Helen Sham; lawyer Claudia Cream, Father Paschal Chang, the Reverend Philip Sik Kee Fong and surgeon Dr Victor Chang

Chinese Australian professionals are represented by politicians Alec Fong Lim, Harry Chan and Helen Sham; lawyer Claudia Cream, Father Paschal Chang, the Reverend Philip Sik Kee Fong and surgeon Dr Victor Chang.

The move away from traditional businesses

With the major shift in immigration policy the numbers of Chinese-born people in the Australian population had almost doubled by the late 1980s. Employment patterns have also altered with a move away from the traditional businesses of restaurants and market gardens to the professions including engineering, science, medicine, teaching, law and politics.

Alec Fong Lim was elected Lord Mayor of Darwin in 1984, the first ethnic Chinese to attain that position. Harry Chan rose to the position of President of the Legislative Council of the Northern Territory, also the first Chinese person to hold this position. In 1988, Helen Sham was the first Australian Chinese woman to win a seat in the Legislative Council of New South Wales. Claudia Cream was the only Chinese lawyer in South Australia when admitted to the Supreme Court of the State in the early 1980s. Father Paschal Chang and Reverend Philip Sik Kee Fong exemplify the best aspects of dedicated pastoral care to the community over many years. Dr Victor Chang was a pioneer of the modern era of heart transplantation and was responsible for setting up the National Heart Transplant unit at St Vincent's Hospital in Sydney in 1984.