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Adelaide skyline and River Torrens, South Australia
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Chinese history in South Australia

The first Chinese to step foot on South Australian soil was believed to have been Tim Shang. He came to South Australia during the period 1836 to 1840, and found work making office furniture for the Customs Office in 1842. Little is known about how he arrived in South Australia and what his life in South Australia was like. However we do know that he was from the Sze Yap (Four Districts), South of Guangdong Province in China. Tim Shang would be the first of many Chinese to arrive in South Australia to discover a new way of life, and some to support their families that they have left back home in China. This report will be dotted with many of such characters that had made significant contributions to South Australia and to their communities back home in China. Source: Confucius Institute

Chinaman’s Well

Evidence of Chinese in South Australia is some 16 km south of Salt Creek is Chinaman’s Well. It is a simple well dug by one of the thousands of illegal Chinese gold prospectors who were shipped ashore on The Coorong with the expectation that they would walk from South Australia across to the goldfields in Victoria in the 1860s.

Captain John Egg

Remarkable pioneer of the Murray River trade industry

Capt John Egge was a legend in his lifetime and a key figure in the development of navigation along the Murray, Darling and Murrumbidgee rivers. John Egge was born in Shanghai, around 1830, and came to Australia as a crew member of the vessel under the command of Capt Francis Cadell. Cadell traded between Port Adelaide and Melbourne, with a major interest in the navigation of the Murray. Egge was the cook on the PS Lady Augusta during the race with Capt William Randell’s vessel, PS Mary Ann, in 1853, for the honour of being the first riverboat to navigate the Murray. Source: Discover Murray River