Visitors to Melbourne should not miss seeing the Chinese Joss Temple at Emerald Hill, if they can manage to do so. It is generally open to inspection on a Sunday afternoon, and many people stroll in.
(The Queenslander, 11 October 1873)
How many people, I wonder, have strolled into the See Yup Temple in Raglan Street, South Melbourne? It certainly made an impression when I visited as a child. In 2019, it is still a place I recommend to visitors as one of Melbourne’s, if not Australia’s, most hidden treasure. It has been on the Victorian National Heritage Register since 1976. The See Yup Society who own and manage the site is the second oldest and longest-running Chinese community organisation in Australia. The current building, constructed in 1866, replaced an earlier two-storey wooden building that was built in 1856 only three years after the first substantial numbers of Chinese began arriving in Victoria bound for the goldfields.
This is the blurb for a public lecture I was invited to present about the See Yup temple in Raglan Street, South Melbourne by the City of Port Phillip Library and Heritage Centre as part of the Australian Heritage Festival on 14 May 2019.
I’ve written this lecture up as a journal article, ‘Melbourne’s See Yup Kuan Ti temple: A historical overview‘ and it has been published in volume 8, Chinese Southern Diaspora Studies in 2019.
14 May 2019