Historical information

This vest was probably used in both China and Australia during the 1940s as a procession garment. It is linked to the Young Chinese League.


This vest is significant for its links to the Chinese Young League. The League was formally established on 4 October 1932 to to promote free social intercourse and goodwill among its members and their mutual improvement. Membership was open to all persons, with one or both parents or grandparents born in China. Wives of Chinese members were permitted as members with the same privileges. It was a significant social organisation for Chinese-Australians in Melbourne in the mid to late twentieth century.

Physical description

Sleeveless jacket in cream and red silk with red circular panel in centre, containing black, velvet Chinese characters that read 'brave' or 'strong'. A red border runs around the sides with a curled design running underneath the circular panel. Three buttonholes at back of garment bear the same design. There is water damage (red staining) around the sleeve and at the bottom right hand corner.

Inscriptions & markings

The Chinese character, 勇, in the centre of the panel means 'brave' or 'strong' and is usually associated with soldiers.