Recognising Sydney’s cultural heritage

The inner city – and particular places of first invasion such as Circular Quay – remain dominated by British and colonial heritage. With few exceptions, acknowledgement of the traditional Gadigal owners and Aboriginal history and resistant remains largely invisible.  

Also largely untold is the contribution of migrants and women, despite the large role they played in the early history of the place we now call Sydney. 

A focus of the Greens work on Council has been ensuring that Sydney’s true and diverse history and heritage is acknowledged, including through incorporating Aboriginal heritage recognition as a priority in public domain and park upgrades.  

Following Greens action through Council, two of the newest streets near Circular Quay were named Ah Toy Lane and Sai Ying Lane, after two prominent early Chinese-Australian families as the site of the original Chinatown.  

Ah Toy Lane is named after the Ay Toy furniture company who were a large and successful furniture maker in the area during the 19th century. Sai Ying Lane was named after Mak Sai Ying, the first Chinese immigrant to Australia in 1818. The Sai Ying family is one of the largest Chinese-Australia families in Australia today.