Chinese Fortunes: 28 January - 16 July

Maud & Dolly Nomchong with Sydney friends in sulkies on the Bombay Bridge outside Braidwood. The beautiful waterhole near the bridge is still a popular swimming spot with locals. Image courtesy Braidwood and District Historical Society.

Maud & Dolly Nomchong 和悉尼朋友在布莱德伍德郊外的庞贝桥骑马车,本地人至今仍很喜欢去桥边的温泉游泳。 布莱德伍德历史会馆提供图片

Chinese Fortunes in colonial Australia.

From 1852, news of the gold rushes in Victoria and New South Wales spread throughout the southern provinces of China, bringing the promise of great prosperity.

Australia became known as New Gold Mountain or Dai Gam San. Thousands of Chinese men, and a handful of Chinese women, journeyed here hoping to make their fortunes. They came from a variety of cultural and economic backgrounds, and brought with them a wide range of skills and traditions.

Not all came to mine, for example some were merchants, entrepreneurs, medical practitioners, and farmers keen to establish themselves in lucrative new markets, where they prospered and contributed greatly to the developing Australian social, cultural and economic landscape.

Exceptionally civic minded, Chinese sojourners and settlers also raised funds through spectacular parades and carnivals to build hospitals and benevolent asylums to the benefit of all.

Explore the stories of these remarkable pioneers, and the hardships they overcame to make their Chinese Fortunes.

In the past thirty years, our understanding of the history of Chinese Australians has been remade. Thanks to a growing community of researchers and historians we now have new insights into the political, economic and cultural dimensions of Chinese Australian experiences. MADE’s aim is to shine a new light on these stories and demonstrate how they have helped shape contemporary Australia.
Cash Brown, MADE Curator

Exhibition Details


Sat 28 Jan – Sun 16 Jul 2017


10am – 5pm


Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka


Free entry on Chinese New Year weekend: 28 – 29 January.
– $12 Adults
– $8 Concession and Children 6 – 15 years
– $8 Students 15 – 18 with student card
– $5 Children 5 and under
– $35 Family Pass
– Gold coin donation for locals