The Docklands of Melbourne was one of the main arrival points for the people arriving to the colonies from the early 1800s.
In the 1800s, the British and Irish settlers dominated the complex and diverse societies in the political system.
British past times, cultural activities and religions dominated. However, different attitudes about the class, the roles of men and women, workers, the poor and social mixing contributed to the society that was different to the ones that were left behind in Britain and Ireland.
The Chinese arriving in Australia were the largest group of Asian Settlers in Australia – arriving mostly from Southern China after Britain had forced China to open its ports to foreign trade in 1982. Not all Chinese immigrants were gold miners. Many of the merchants who had started business on the main streets of Melbourne during the gold rush were involved in the expansion of the import and export trades between Australia, Hong Kong and Shanghai.
In 1875, three Chinese businessmen founded the “Melbourne Chinese Merchants’ Society”. Lowe King Meng, Cheok Hong Cheong and Lous Ah Mouy released a publication of a response to anti-Chinese polemics, that pamphlet results in a debate, “The Chinese Questions in Australia,” in 1878.