Australia's Sesquicentenary, 1938

Madame Chiang Kai-Shek's message to the International Women's Conference

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


A pamphlet available in the stacks of the State Library of New South Wales provides a valuable glimpse into the circumstances of women in Australia and China in the lead up to World War II, as well as attempts made at government and local levels at the time to bridge geographical and political divides and build stronger international relationships.Titled A Century of Sino-Australian Relations, it was produced by the Consul-General for the Republic of China, Pao Chun-Jien, and contains the only complete record in Australia of a goodwill message to Australian women on this country’s sesquicentenary in 1938. The message, from Soong Mei-Ling, the wife of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek, was written to be presented at the International Women’s Conference which was held in Sydney that year as part of the anniversary celebrations. The treatment of Soong’s address, and the conference itself, by the Australian media gives an intriguing glimpse into the relationship between the two countries, as well as into the gender, class and ethnic divisions that marked the socio-cultural spaces of Australia as a fledgling nation during those formative years between the two world wars.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSpace and Culture
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 11 Aug 2020

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