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Chinese Immigrants and Chinese–Australians in NSW


5 Aliens, evacuees and internees

Image 6: Mrs Matilda Wong’s application for registration, 1939.

Image 6: Mrs Matilda Wong’s application for registration, 1939.
NAA: SP11/5, WONG, MATILDA HOR
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At the beginning of World War II the Aliens Registration Act 1939 and the associated National Security (Aliens Control) Regulations detailed requirements for the registration of individuals designated as 'aliens' to be submitted to Aliens Registration Officers. These registrations included a variety of forms, such as the 'A1 Application for Registration – Residents' (for people already in Australia), 'A2 Application for Registration – Entry', 'B1 Certificate of Registration', and 'C Notice of Change of Abode'. Each form has a passport size photograph of the applicant attached.

Applications for registration (aliens registration files) (forms A1, B1 and C), 1939–47
Sydney
Recorded by: 1939–47 Collector of Customs, Sydney (CA 785)
1945–46 Department of Immigration, NSW (CA 957)

This series contains applications for alien registration form, which are arranged alphabetically by nationality, then alphabetically by surname. Sometimes the forms give a date of departure from Australia and other personal details.

Series: SP11/2
Quantity: 39.96 metres
Gum Wah (Chinese, arrived Sydney, 1897), 1939–42 SP11/2, Chinese/Wah Gum
Chong Hen (Chinese, arrived Sydney), 1939–46 SP11/2, Chinese/Hen Chong
Gah Ah (Chinese, arrived Sydney per Nellore, 1941), 1941–43
This item contains a photograph of Mr Gah.
SP11/2, Chinese/Ah G
Applications for registration (aliens registration files) – non–naturalised aliens, 1940–47
Sydney
Recorded by: 1940–45 Collector of Customs, Sydney (CA 785)
1945–47 Department of Immigration, NSW (CA 957)

This series contains the registration papers for non-naturalised aliens living in NSW. Under wartime National Security Regulations, all aliens in Australia were required to register with the local police or military authorities. As this series relates to non-naturalised people only, persons included within it are generally those who entered Australia for only a short period of time – ie, tourists, business people, ships' crews and missionaries. Among the registration forms, however, are forms for other groups of people, such as members of the Russian ballet and for the German internees transported to Sydney aboard HMT Dunera.

The main registration form (the 'Form of application for registration for alien resident in Australia') contains detailed information about individuals, including their full name, nationality, birthplace and date of birth, and the date, manner and place of their arrival in Australia. A personal description and, usually, a photograph of the individual and a set of their finger-prints is included with the form. Once a person became naturalised their papers were moved to series SP11/5, a description of which appears below.

Series: SP11/3
Quantity: 20.16 metres
[Chao Lin Tong – An Chee Chey], c1939–by 1948 SP11/3, box 15
Chan ah Chhat – Joe Chong, c1939–by 1948 SP11/3, box 16
Applications for registration (aliens registration files) (forms A1, B1 and C) – naturalised, 1940–47
Sydney
Recorded by: 1940–45 Collector of Customs, Sydney (CA 785)
1945–47 Department of Immigration, NSW (CA 957)

This series contains the same forms as series SP11/2 and SP11/3, but includes only papers of 'aliens' naturalised before 1947, which were extracted from the other two groups of papers. These forms are arranged alphabetically by name. The State police notified naturalisation of the individual and the papers were then removed from the 'non-naturalised' series, joined with the notification and placed in this series.

Series: SP11/5
Quantity: 13.68 metres
Register of forms A42 [personal statements by alien passengers], 1933–47
Sydney
Recorded by: 1933–45 Collector of Customs, Sydney (CA 785)
1945–47 Department of Immigration, NSW (CA 957)

This series contains bound volumes of letters are arranged chronologically. They are copies of letters to the Secretary, Department of the Interior, to 27 July 1945 and to the Secretary of the Department of Immigration after that date, which deal with the forwarding of Form A42. In some cases particulars of 'aliens' arriving at other ports in Australia, when their final destination is Sydney, are included. The letters contain name, nationality, nature of visit, the type of permit, landing permit number, name of vessel and date of arrival.

Series: SP444/1
Quantity: 0.54 metres
Register of forms A.42 obtained from aliens arriving at the Port of Sydney, 1939 SP444/1, 1939
Personal statements by alien passengers (form A. 42), 1945–47
Sydney
Recorded by: 1945 Collector of Customs, Sydney (CA 785)
1945–47 Department of Immigration, NSW (CA 957)

Non-British passengers arriving by ship or aircraft in Australia at Sydney completed the forms held in this series. Each form records the name of the vessel or flight number, class travelled, date of arrival, port of landing and personal particulars (eg, name, date and place of birth, nationality, family accompanying, occupation, description, reasons for visit and military training). Each form is counter-signed by a Customs Officer.

Some of the papers relate to people of Chinese nationality, but not all items are listed on RecordSearch. Statements are arranged alphabetically by name within nationality.

Series: SP11/4
Quantity: 12.24 metres
Application for registration (alien registration files) – Chinese, 1939–61
Sydney
Recorded by: 1939–45 Collector of Customs, Sydney (CA 785)
1945–61 Department of Immigration, NSW (CA 957)

This series contains aliens registration files for Chinese nationals (including those born in Australia). Attached to each A1 ('Application for Alien Registration') form is a photograph of the applicant.

There are two distinct batches of files within this series. The first consists of files related to people who left Australia, which mostly date from 1947 onwards. The second batch of files dates mainly from World War II. Some files in this series also relate to internees of the Gaythorne and Tatura interment camps.

The series also contains applications by Chinese people who, despite arriving and living in Australia before World War II, were required to register as aliens. It also contains applications completed by Chinese people who arrived in Australia as refugees.

Series: SP1732/4
Quantity: 1.26 metres
Ah Fong, 1939
Ah Fong was born in July 1867 and arrived in Sydney sometime in 1889. The name of the ship he travelled in and the exact date of his arrival are unknown.
SP1732/4, Ah Fong [1]
Georgie Gee, 1939
Georgie Gee arrived in Sydney, but the exact date of his arrival and the vessel he travelled in are unknown.
SP1732/4, Gee, Georgie
Chan Fu, 1947
Chan Fu arrived in Australia on the SS Taiping, but the port he arrived at and the date he arrived are unknown.
SP1732/4, Fu, Chan

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Chapter 5
Aliens, Evacuees and Internees