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The History of Chinatowns in Australia

Chinatown was where he discovered his roots

Chinese Australians continue to visit Chinatown to connect with the culture

Most major cities around the world have a Chinatown.

These are often areas where Chinese settlement first took shape outside of China.

They reflect a history of hope and hardship when many migrants left their homes for a new life offshore.

Let’s explore Chinatown’s changing meaning in Australia.

From 1851 during Australia’s gold rush period, Chinatown in Australia were established as areas where Chinese migrants and workers could congregate.

Surrounded by their fellow countrymen, these early Chinese settlers found a sense of belonging in a strange new land. 

Ien Ang is a cultural studies professor at the University of Western Sydney.

She says these 19th century Chinatown was a refuge when anti-Chinese sentiments in the wider population were high.

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