The Chinese Community of Creswick: The circus at the edge of town
By Carol Scott. Director, Chinese Heritage Interest Network (Australia)
presented at The Chinese
Studies Association of Australia 9th Biennial Conference, in association
with the International Society for the study of Chinese Overseas (ISSCO).
3rd July 2005, The Golden Dragon Museum, Bendigo, Australia.
This paper examines the development and evolution of the Chinese community of the gold mining community of Creswick, Victoria over a twenty-five year period commencing in 1851. It explores the structure of the community including Creswick’s Chinatown and the satellite Chinese communities engaged in sluicing and puddling and located to the south and west of the township. While nothing remains of Creswick’s Chinatown, physical evidence of Chinese occupation, in the form of extensive market gardens, has been identified among several satellite communities. The paper concludes in December 1873 with the involvement of Creswick’s Chinese community in the controversial attempt to break the miner’s strike at the Lothair Quartz and Alluvial Mining Company in nearby Clunes. The resulting violent public riot, and its aftermath, added fuel to the anti-Chinese immigration debate, provided one of the first cases of the use of force in the policing of industrial disputes and provided an early step toward the establishment of the Miner’s Union.
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