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Scene 19 (right to left)

1988, when the scroll was completed, marked the bicentenary of the arrival of the First Fleet in Sydney. Chinese Australians commemorated the event with numerous activities and performances that celebrated significant contributions made to Australia’s history and cultural life over the preceding 200 years. This concluding scene shows dragon boat racing, dances, music performances, art-making, cooking, tai chi, lion and dragon dances, families and friendships. Also represented are landmarks including the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney’s Dixon Street Chinatown, Parliament House in Canberra, and the Garden of Friendship at Darling Harbour in Sydney. Two surfers — one of European background and one of Chinese background — are shown with their boards, heading off to the beach, which is out of frame at the end of the scroll.

Stitched panels of the Harvest of Endurance scroll featuring ‘Australia’s Bicentenary’ and ‘Towards the future’.

Celebrating 200 years

The Harvest of Endurance scroll was created in 1988 as a bicentennial project of the Australia China Friendship Society. The Australian Bicentenary marked the 200th anniversary of the arrival of the First Fleet in Sydney in 1788. Captain Arthur Phillip, commander of the First Fleet, established the foundations of a British colony at Sydney Cove on the 26 January 1788.

Enduring contribution

Over many generations, people of diverse backgrounds from regions across China and South-East Asia have made new homes in Australia.

The illustrated scenes in the Harvest of Endurance scroll commemorate the rich variety of contributions made over a 200-year period by people of Chinese heritage to Australian society and cultural life.

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