News & Events
Year 7 2024 Enrolments close Friday 12 May 2023

Mystery Aussie is a good read


St Mary’s teacher, Mr Philip Jan recently donated a copy of the book The Mystery Aussie: Jan See Chin to the St Mary’s and Coolock libraries.

In presenting the book Philip described it as “a stunning book, the result of several years of research and collaboration by Pamela Lee Wong, a cousin of mine who lives in Palo Alto, California USA. Stories of my amazing grandfather, who died long before I was born, swirled around my childhood. Some of the stories were so grand they seemed like myth and folklore.”

Pamela Wong’s research has been extensive and painstaking. She has uncovered historical sources from around the globe and listened to countless stories from descendants of Jan See Chin and marvellously been able to encompass all this into a single book. Her tenacity and perseverance in tracking down sources from Australia, Hong Kong, China and beyond is a fitting tribute to a man who made major inroads towards creating the Australia we know today.

“I am proud to be able to donate two copies of this book to the Catherine McAuley College Libraries so that students will have a living example of Historical Inquiry and even more importantly, a fascinating read,” Mr Jan said.

Nick Melaisis, Learning & Teaching Director – Coolock:
The Mystery Aussie: Jan See Chin by Pamela Wong is a fine example of the fusion between personal genealogy and historical inquiry. Wong’s scholarship brings to life the line in the national anthem – “for those who’ve come across the seas, we’ve boundless plains to share” – through a fascinating exploration into the life and legacy of Jan See Chin, a Chinese-born immigrant (and ancestor of CMC educator Mr Philip Jan) who not only came to call Australia home, but in doing so, also contributed in laying the foundations to the vibrant multicultural society we enjoy today.

Rachel Cross, Head Librarian
The Mystery Aussie: Jan See Chin is at once the unique story of an inspiring individual, as well as a fabulous celebration of the universal human qualities of love, struggle, sacrifice, grit and determination. We highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to understand and appreciate how Australia has transformed from the ‘Us versus Them’ mentality of the White Australia Policy, to a Rainbow Nation of diversity. The Mystery Aussie: Jan See Chin is available to loan from both the St Mary’s and Coolock College Library collections.