Scene 18 (right to left)
Portraits of professionals from a wide range of fields, who achieved success during the 1960s, 70s and 80s, appear in this scene. They include politicians Alexander ‘Alec’ Fong Lim, Harry Chan and Helen Sham-Ho, Father Paschal Chang, lawyer Claudia Cream, Reverend Philip Sik Kee Fong, leading medical specialists Dr Victor Chang and Professor Christopher Chen, scholar Professor Wang Gungwu, entomologist Dr CS Li, civil engineer Patrick G Pak-Poy, vigneron George M Lau, businessman King Fong, and conductor Helen Quach.
Entering the Professions
After changes to Australia’s immigration policy in the 1970s, by the late 1980s the number of people of Chinese heritage in the Australian population had increased.
Whilst employment in small businesses, restaurants and market gardening continued, more people of Chinese background were entering professions like engineering, science, medicine, teaching, law and politics.
Rising to the Top
Leading professionals from the 1960s, 70s and 80s included influential politicians, doctors, scientists and musicians.
Alexander ‘Alec’ Fong Lim was elected Lord Mayor of Darwin in 1984, the first person of Chinese heritage to attain that position.
Harry Chan rose to the position of President of the Legislative Council of the Northern Territory, and was the first person of Chinese heritage to hold this position.
In 1988, Helen Sham-Ho 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 Cardiac Transplant Unit at St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney in 1984.
Professor Christopher Chen became a recognised world pioneer in in-vitro fertilisation (IVF). In 1982 he succeeded in producing the first IVF pregnancy in South Australia. A year later he made history by presiding over the birth of the world’s first IVF triplets.
Helen Quach of Sydney won first prize in the New York Dimitri Mitropoulos International Competition for Conductors in 1969.
Dr CS Li was a rice entomologist who discovered and found out how to control a new rice parasite in 1965 — a contribution of world significance.
Alexander Fong Lim AO
Businessman, and Darwin’s first lord mayor of Chinese heritage.
Harry Chan OBE
Businessman, politician, and mayor of Darwin.
Father Pascal Chang
Founder of associations to provide pastoral care for Australia’s Catholic Chinese community.
Helen Sham-Ho OAM
Lawyer and Australia’s first parliamentarian of Chinese heritage as member of the Legislative Council of New South Wales (1988–2003).
Claudia Cream OAM
South Australia’s first lawyer of Chinese heritage, admitted to the Supreme Court in the early 1980s.
Reverend Philip Sik Kee Fong
Minister in the Chinese Presbyterian Church in Sydney, providing pastoral care over many years.
Dr Victor Chang AC
Renowned cardiac surgeon and leader in the field of heart transplant surgery.
Professor Christopher Chen
Pioneer of in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) in Australia in the 1980s.
Professor Wang Gungwu AO, CBE
Distinguished scholar of overseas Chinese historical studies.
Dr CS Li
Darwin-based entomologist who discovered a new rice parasite and developed methods for its control.
Patrick G Pak-Poy
Civil engineer and founder of a South Australian engineering company with major projects nationally and overseas.
George M Lau
Vigneron of one of Australia’s largest wineries in South Australia.
King Fong OAM
Sydney-based businessman recognised for his service to the Chinese community.
Symphony orchestra conductor with a distinguished international career.