Naturalization certificate

Naturalization certificate

Naturalization certificate

Title: Application for the certificate of Naturalization completed by Lee Kee Chong

Date: created 14/6/1911

Material: Ink on paper

Provenance: created in Moree, NSW, Australia, authorized by the Department of External Affairs

Image courtesy of the
National Archives of Australia

Description: 1 page application form. At the top right corner is a stamp from the Department of External Affairs dated; 1911. At the top is the Australian coat of arms, below text reads: Commonwealth of Australia / Naturalization Act of 1903 / Application for certificate of Naturalization / To his excellency the Governor-General. Below are the details of Lee Kee Chong's arrival to Australia and subsequent residential information. On the left side of the document are instructions as to the information included in each particular space.

This document is Moree storekeeper, Lee Kee Chong's application for naturalisation. Naturalisation was granted to non-European Australians to provide rights of citizenship like that of the vote. From 1903 to 1921 Chinese resident in Australia were not granted Naturalization.

Significance: Mid to late 19th century anti-Asian sentiment were turned into discriminatory and restrictive legislation at the time of Federation. Ultimately Lee Kee Chong was refused naturalization in spite of his 30 years spent living in Australia. Discrimination towards him, resulted in a violation of his rights as a resident and business owner. It embodies the way in which negative sentiment grew to restrict established immigrants remained inferior to European immigrants.

Related links:

Archive record: http://www.naa.gov.au/collection/snapshots/chinese-australians/lee-kee-chong.aspx

More information on the Naturalization Act of 1903: http://www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/C1903A00011

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