Year of the Snake: Chinese Influence in Australia

According to the Chinese zodiac, this year, 2013, is the Year of the Snake.

Very fitting, I think, for us here in Australia.

I did a little research about “The Snake” and found out that ancient Chinese wisdom suggests having a snake in the house is a good sign. I was pretty pleased to discover this, having had a snake in MY house!

Maybe I shouldn’t have shown him (or her, I wasn’t sure) the door?

Any of you who have read my post Australia: A Nation of Immigrants will know that China comes third in a table showing where people who have moved to Australia were originally born. Here are some numbers.

From the 2011 Census:

  • Australia’s population – just over 20 million
  • Total number overseas born – just under 5.3 million
  • Total of Australian population originally born abroad – 26%
  • The Chinese-born population of Australia is 319,000 or about 1.5%
  • Only the UK at 5.5% and New Zealand with around 2.5% have had more migrants arrive in Australia.


There are “Chinatowns” all over the world, Wikipedia, of course, has a list. It says that in Australia there is a Chinatown in Adelaide, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney and here in Brisbane. It tells us the Brisbane Chinatown is in Fortitude Valley, and it is.

But we also appear to have one in Sunnybank; I went there on Sunday to check out their Year of the Snake Carnival. It wasn’t the greatest show on earth…

Stage… but it was a good community event, which is something of an Australian speciality, with people enjoying themselves and having fun. There was a small market…

MarketIn Sunnybank, my guess is the Chinese population is a tad higher than the 1.5% national average…

populationOne of the things that fascinated me though, was the community noticeboard. I’ve seen these in other suburbs before; they are just a piece of wall space where people can stick up a notice to sell something.

It could be a car, furniture, maybe a room to let or even a service. The noticeboard I saw in Sunnybank was bigger and more crowded than most that I’ve seen…

Notice boardBut frankly, half of it was just Double Dutch to me…

Double DutchWell, maybe not Dutch.

But if you want a good Chinese meal, it’s the place to go.

43 restaurantsYes, that’s right, 43 restaurants crammed into this one shopping area.

Me, I had a kebab.

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{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Johnson February 18, 2015, 11:41 pm |

    Haha, it seems you are very skeptical of the Chinese community in Aus. I laughed reading this line, ‘ show her, cough …him the door’. I think you meant that how metrosexual some asian men are, particularly the ones of rich families since only they could possibly travel overseas. The notice board is full is largely because they like to communicate with people with similar minds. I am a chinese-born person, living in Sydney. I personally stay away from Chinese people because they are not cool and show a lack of manner and consideration for others, and also because it’s hard to reason with them. Perhaps that’s why you showed ‘him’ the door. You have a good blog. Good work!

    • BobinOz February 19, 2015, 5:11 pm |

      I was actually talking about the snake Johnson, I didn’t know whether the snake was male or female, who does other than other snakes? It wasn’t a reference to Chinese people 🙂

      Glad you like my blog though, cheers, Bob

  • Marina February 5, 2013, 2:53 am |

    I’ve just discovered your website and it’s in my new favourites! I always wanted to know what it’s REALLY like to move and live in Australia with the pros and cons of it. Thanks for sharing your journey with us!

    • BobinOz February 5, 2013, 8:35 pm |

      Glad you are enjoying it Marina, thanks for the compliment. Bob

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