This thesis seeks to create a scaffold for further research into late-19th-century cultural contact between North Queensland Aborigines and Chinese migrants. Anglo-Celtic metanarratives continue to dominate Australian historiography with mono-cultural, economic and political continuities founded on European epistemologies and ontologies. With few exceptions, 19th-century-cultural-contact debates centre the Anglo-Celtic migrants' experiences with Indigenous Australians and non-Anglo-Celtic migrants. However, such historiography infers an inaccurate standpoint centring the Anglo-Celts' host status, and excludes a third significant contact experience between Indigenous Australians and non-European migrants. This is understandable, given the extant written evidence has been overwhelmingly created and preserved by Europeans to serve white-Australia's Anglo-Celtic perspective. Therefore, a more inclusive reconstruction of cultural contact, recognising differences and equality, requires the application of inductive analysis with a focus on discontinuities, in order to identify the events influencing the creation of the preserved evidence. Quandamoopah scholar Karen Martin's (2008) relatedness theory is applied as a framework exemplar, offering a new vocabulary that shifts perspective towards Indigenous agency and viewpoints as the original culture. This methodology is tested in an analysis of events recorded by late-19th-century Europeans in Cooktown, Palmer River and Atherton.
Submitted in the fulfilment of the requirements of the degree of Bachelor of Arts in History (Honours), University of the Sunshine Coast, 2014