Hi, I’m Kate Bagnall.

I’m a historian, writer and editor based in Canberra, Australia. 

My research focuses on Australia’s historical connections to China, in particular Chinese migration and settlement in south-eastern Australia and New Zealand before World War II.

I have a PhD in Australian history from the University of Sydney, and I was an ARC DECRA Fellow in the School of Humanities & Social Inquiry at the University of Wollongong from 2016 to 2019.

My research expertise covers:

  • the White Australia Policy and Chinese exclusion
  • overseas Chinese family life
  • Chinese transnationalism and qiaoxiang ties
  • Chinese Australian documentary heritage
  • Chinese in colonial New South Wales
  • New South Wales in the late colonial and Federation periods
  • 19th and early 20th century Australian women’s history.

I bring a unique perspective to the study of Chinese Australian history, having lived, worked and travelled extensively in the qiaoxiang districts of the Pearl River Delta over the past twenty years. Since 2017 I have run the Chinese Australian Hometown Heritage Tour with Dr Sophie Couchman.

I have published my work in acclaimed scholarly collections, including Australia’s Asia (edited by Professor David Walker and Agnieszka Sobocinska), as well as in leading academic journals such as Australian Historical Studies and History Australia.

I enjoy sharing my research with the community through public talks and family history seminars. I also share my research journey through my blog, The Tiger’s Mouth.

For details of my academic work, see my CV.