The Hakka Association of Western Australia Inc. (HakkaWA) was registered on 9 June 2009 (Registration number A1014277M), with the objectives to promote the cross pollination of the Chinese (especially Hakka) and the Australian cultural and economic activities, and to bring together the Hakka people and their relatives and friends, and those interested in the Hakka language and culture, to encourage and foster the Hakka language, culture, customs, values and way of life and in this way to contribute to and enrich the Australian cultural life.
The Hakkas are a unique subgroup of the Han Chinese which constitutes about 92% of the population of the People’s Republic of China, and there are an estimated 80 million Hakkas spread worldwide. Indeed it was said that “where there are Chinese there are Hakkas”.
The Hakkas are thought to be one of the earliest “Han” settlers in China. Hakka people have also married other ethnic groups and adopted their cultures during the long migration history of 2000 years. Due to the infusion of other ethnic groups from the northwest, north and northeast, these original settlers gradually migrated south and settled in Jiangxi, Fujian, and Guangdong. They were called Hakka by the locals when they first settled in.
Since then the term “Hakka” has been used by both the non-Hakka and Hakka speaking people, and in international publications. The spelling “Hakka” is derived from the pronunciation in the Hakka dialect (pronounced as “haagga” in Hakka and “kejia” in Mandarin).
During the last hundred years or so, Hakka people have migrated to South East Asia, East Africa, Europe (Holland, United Kingdom, France, Germany), South America (Brazil, Trinidad etc) Canada, USA. About 7% of the 1.2 billion Chinese clearly state their Hakka origin or heritage.
However, as a result of migration and assimilation with the local people their actual number may be more. The Hakka identity is gradually being lost. There is a need for the various Hakka Associations around the world including HakkaWA to promote and preserve the Hakka language and culture.
Hakka people are known for being very adamant in their perseverance in keeping their cultural heritage and customs which can be traced back to the pre-Qin period (about 2200 years ago). This can be seen in the custom, foods, spoken language, etc. This was one of the reasons for their fleeing from the “northern” influence at that time, because they wanted very strongly to preserve and defend their culture and customs.
Pursuant to Rule 3(1) of the HakkaWA Constitution, the objectives are:
- to enable Hakka people in Western Australia to network and enhance their relationship with each other
- to encourage and foster the Hakka language, culture, customs, values and way of life and in this way to contribute to and enrich the Australian cultural life
- to look after the general welfare and interests of its Members and the Hakka community in Western Australia
- to provide assistance to its Members to assimilate into the Australian society and to promote cohesion within Australian society
- to promote the cross pollination of the Chinese (especially Hakka) and Australian cultural and economic activities
- to do such acts or things that are or may be incidental or conducive to the attainment of any of the objects of the Association.
Rule 5(1) of the Constitution states that membership of the Association is open to any person of good character, over the age of 16, who is of Hakka origin or who has a Hakka connection. (The definition of “a Hakka connection” shall be determined by the Committee of Management of the Association, but shall include the spouse and children of a Hakka, a relative of a Hakka, anyone who can speak the Hakka language, and anyone who is interested in the Hakka culture and language).
Certificate of incorporation