Chinatown is set to have a new cultural hub to highlight the contributions of Chinese people living in Australia, thanks to a $2.2 million investment through the NSW Government Creative Capital program. 

Today, Minister for Multiculturalism Mark Coure and Minister for the Arts Ben Franklin announced that the investment will see the historic Haymarket Library converted into the Museum of Chinese in Australia (MOCA), which will be the first of its kind in NSW.

Minister for Multiculturalism Mark Coure said the building will keep its historic façade, and the inside will be converted to reflect the meaningful contributions the Chinese community has made in Australia and NSW.

“I think this will uniquely show how well our multicultural society works – highlighting our historical past and the contributions of the Chinese community,” Mr Coure said. 

“While this museum will be about celebrating their valued contributions, it will help foster greater unity and understanding of those of Chinese heritage and how they have helped make NSW the great state it is today.

“This new museum will help give a boost to Chinatown and add to the colour and vibrancy of this precinct.”

Mr Franklin said the funding will benefit the community and provide new opportunities for audiences to engage in arts and cultural experiences with quality cultural infrastructure. 

“This investment will refurbish this magnificent building into a modern museum, showing traditional and digital exhibitions, education, public engagement programs, and community hubs with digital access,” Mr Franklin said.

“This funding will assist MOCA to tell the stories of past, present and future generations of Chinese Australians while strengthening social cohesion based on the principles of multiculturalism on which Australian society is founded.

“Cultural equity is at the heart of the NSW Government’s Creative Capital program, and thanks to the $72 million investment, more projects like this can realise their ambition of providing more people with access to world-class arts and culture, no matter where they live in the state,” he said. 

Executive Director of Museum of Chinese in Australia Tony Stephens said he welcomed the NSW Government’s investment to support quality arts and cultural venues for the community that will boost tourism and the local economy.

“This funding ensures the museum is a centre for research, preservation and exchange of Chinese Australian experience and stories while delivering excellent opportunities for the economy by helping us provide enhanced cultural experiences for our audiences and visitors to enjoy,” Mr Stephens said. 

“I am delighted the NSW Government is investing in this project.”

Museum of Chinese in Australia is one of 29 projects funded under the Medium to Large Projects category as part of the $72 million Creative Capital funding.

Further details on the Creative Capital program are available on the Create NSW website at