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Podcast: Chinese gold rush miners made up a quarter of Bendigo's population so what happened to them?

During the gold rush Chinese immigrants made up a quarter of Bendigo's population, but now only one percent trace their ancestry back to these diggers.

The goldfields were a dangerous place in the 19th century particularly for Chinese miners who faced inhibitory discrimination and suffered xenophobic attacks.

More than 150 people carry the Chinese dragon's during Bendigo's Easter parade. Photo: Glenn Daniels

More than 150 people carry the Chinese dragon's during Bendigo's Easter parade. Photo: Glenn Daniels

Despite this many made Bendigo their home and helped shape the city it is today. Their legacy can be seen in the annual Chinese Dragon parade, Golden Dragon Museum, and Chinese gardens.

It was classic fear of the unknown. A lot of people on the goldfields had come from backgrounds where they had never seen a Chinese person in their lives.

Darren Wright - Historian

And some miners still haunt the Chinese section of a local cemetery although many of the bodies were exhumed.

The podcast episode charts the story of Chinese miners on the goldfields as well as their descendants. It explores how a parade of Chinese dragons became the biggest event of the year, and where Bendigo's Chinese ancestors went.

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This story What happened to Bendigo's Chinese miners? first appeared on The Canberra Times.