Chinese Heritage

The Cairns and District Chinese Association Inc (CADCAI) is custodian of one of the nation’s hidden treasures, the Cairns Lit Sung Goong (LSG) Temple collection. This nationally significant collection of over 240 artefacts from the temple which operated in Cairns between 1886 and 1966 is an outstanding example of the material culture of Chinese Australian religious practices, and one of the few tangible links to what was once a flourishing Chinese community more than a century ago.

The artefacts, primarily of metal, wood and glass were mostly produced in southern China and brought to North Queensland in the late nineteenth century. The objects include temple furnishings, deity statues, carved decorative panels, paintings on glass, printing and fortune telling paraphernalia, processional items and timber furniture. Unfortunately this collection is not on public display but private viewings of the collection can be made by appointment.  

It is our goal is to establish a contemporary Chinese cultural and Heritage centre in Cairns to preserve and exhibit the collection for the enjoyment of current and future generations. The North Queensland Chinese Cultural and Heritage Fund established in 2009 enables CADCAI to accept tax deductible donations. All donations gratefully accepted. To make a tax deductible donation, please make cheques payable to:
“Far North Queensland Chinese Cultural & Heritage Fund”  or direct deposit with your name & return address to: Cairns & District Chinese Association Inc - Far North Queensland Chinese Cultural & Heritage Fund BSB: 034167 Account: 357787 or simply donate on-line using our secure PayPal facility.

Above: LSG Temple altar and canopy, Cairns Regional Gallery exhibit on, 2005
Centre: Wooden Statue of Guan Yin, one of many deities represented in the temple 
Centre: Lit Sung Goong Temple bell
Right: Painting on Glass depicting the Guan Yin, Goddess of Mercy 
Photos: Michael Marzik 


The CADCAI Heritage Group was formed in 2002 to manage the on-going needs of the Lit Sung Goong
Temple Collection. We are all community volunteers and we see ourselves as "guardians" of the 

collection. Our aim is to preserve and ensure the longevity of the collection objects to enhance the stories about the residents of Cairns historic Chinatown and the users of the temple which was located in Grafton (Sachs) St, 1887 - 1966.  
We encourage the collection of stories and artefacts relating to the early  immigration of Chinese people to North Queensland. 
We also aspire to collect and preserve the ever growing contemporary collection to tell stories of our vibrant 21st century Chinese Australian culture, for future generations. We practise preventive conservation methods and strive to achieve museum standards in our work.  

Work of the Heritage group includes:
Collection management: documentation and cataloging of objects, database, research, professional
development and training opportunities

Community Engagement: curating displays and exhibitions, hosting school visits and other visitors, participating in conferences such as CHINA INC, which is held bi-annaully in north Queensland,

Conservation practice - hands on conservation work with the objects

The Heritage group works at CADCAI Centre in Grafton St on Thursdays from 9 - 1.00pm
  and Saturday afternoons from 2.00 - 4-00pm.

New volunteers welcome !!

Enquiries to Mary Low 40323364

For latest information regarding Heritage group activities, see 2017 Heritage newsletter 



In April 2014 Heritage Group members participated in a Photography workshop with producer, ABC Gemma Deavin. Particpants chose an object to photograph and describe. The outcome for CADCAI was 5 object stories about artefacts from
Lit Sung Goong Temple and Chinatown collection. These can be viewed at:


AGM heritage report.pdf 2017
Heritage group Newsletter Volume 2 October 2015

CADCAI Heritage Bulletin Vol 2.pdf
Heritage Group Newsletter  Volume 1 August 2014
 Volume 1 08:14.pdf

Chinatown Oral History research Project 2012:

This project is partially funded by Regional Arts Developement Fund (RADF)  


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