Australia has a rich cultural history of Chinese immigration that stems back to the gold rush of the 1850’s. The following video published by 'My Australia' provides a fascinating look at the origins of Chinese immigration. By Scott O. Talbot
Last year, I personally took a trip back to my fathers birth place near Ballarat, Victoria, a small town now with a population of less than 300.
As I stepped through the doors of history and explored the towns monuments and historical landmarks, my father described life back in the early 1900’s. To my surprise the town marker displayed the population back in the gold rush days as approx. 2,000+ Chinese and 800 European gold miners.
Australia Chinese history
A visit to a pub in the area certainly revealed the impact of Chinese immigration. In a conversation with a local who resembled ‘Crocodile Dundee’ and spoke with a heavy ‘Ocker’ Australian accent, the young man was actually Asian in appearance.
A fascinating conversation, and I learnt about his families history and that the gold mine shafts back in the gold rush where distinctly different between Chinese and European gold miners.
This ‘true blu’ Chinese Australian explained that the Chinese used round mines as they were less prone to collapse. Wherein the European square mine shafts required timber supports and bracing.
This visit back to the gold rush days of the 1850's reminded me of the importance of diversity and Chinese immigration to Australia. The cultural contributions over many, many generations and the integration into rural Australian life.