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Programs for the Australian Chinese Dragon Boat Festival Program 2001

Date: 1997
Dimensions:
Overall: 296 x 210 x 1 mm
Medium: Paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Raymond Leung
Classification:Ephemera
Object Name: Program
Object No: 00046235

User Terms

    HistoryAccording to Dragon Boats NSW Inc, the first Australian involvement occurred in 1980 when Penang Tourist Development Corporation invited the WA Surf Life Saving Association to send a team to the Penang Festival. This was followed the next year by invitations from the HKTA to WA and NSW to send teams to what was then considered the unofficial world championships on Hong Kong Harbour.

    In 1984 Sydney held the inaugural Sydney Dragon Boat Festival at Farm Cove. The Western Australia Dragon Boat Association formed in 1985. Since then most other states have subsequently formed associations. Dragon boats were part of the river activities in Melbourne's Moomba festival in the mid-1980s.

    Currently most Australian states have teams including: ACCA Dragon Boat Team, ADR Thunderbirds Dragon Boat Club, Chinese Cultural Club, Chinese Youth League Dragon Boat, Dragon Sports Association, Forza Italia Dragon Boat Club, NAVMAT Dragons (Canberra), Newcastle and Hunter Dragon Boat Club, Northern Beaches Dragon Boat Club, Pacific Dragons, Subsonix Dragon Boat Club, Sydney Dragon Blades, Sydney Tsunami (Glebe High School), The Uniting Church Dragon Boat Team, Worsley Aluminators Dragon Boat Club.

    Dragon boat racing today is an example of a water sport brought to Australia through immigration; an interesting counterpoint to the many well-established sports in which immigrants have participated and excelled. The adoption of dragon boat racing in Australia brings together two strong national traditions - sport and immigration. The combination of an ancient Chinese festival with quintessentially Australian surf life saving skills helped initially to establish annual dragon boat races and associations around Australia, along with Australian participation in international competitions.

    The Chinese Dragon Boat Festival honours the Chinese poet Qu Yuan who drowned himself in 278 BC as a protest against official corruption. His poetic commentary on politics, like the dragon boat festival that honours him, remains relevant to the present day:
    "The whole state is corrupt,
    I alone am honest
    The public is drunk
    Only I am awake".

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