Chinese Fortunes – major Australian exhibition exploring the stories of early Chinese Australians at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka,102 Stawell St South, Ballarat is from 28 January to 25 June 2017. Costs are, Adult $12, Children 6-15 $8, U5 free, and Free for Ballarat locals upon presentation of some I.D.
The opening of the exhibition aptly on Chinese New Year (Year of the Rooster), shares the remarkable contributions made by the Chinese from 1851 to 1901. Hear individual stories of our early Chinese Australians, the miners, gardeners, merchants, storekeepers, furniture makers, detectives, interpreters, philanthropists, entertainers and business people. This exhibition showcases the rich diversity of our Chinese Australian history and their unparalleled spirit of determination; leading up to Federation.
Their tales will shatter long held stereotypes of Chinese miners, and stories about violence, opium addiction, gambling, anti-Chinese immigration propaganda and more, that made it easy to think of them as a homogenous and unsophisticated group.
This image does not reflect the complexities of the Chinese culture. Come along to the exhibition and discover how with organisation and sophistication, and the ability to integrate into western societies, pioneering Chinese Australians not only survived, but prospered as well in many cases.
Like the Europeans, they came to make money and to seek a better life, but not all came to mine. The skills they brought with them turned into business and trades that supported the economies and social structures in the goldfields and cities around Australia.