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Black Swan Red Dragon: Perth’s Chinese Presence

Chinese people have a rich history in Australia and the city of Perth, Western Australia is no exception to that. The goldfields of Kalgoorlie and Coolgardie saw some of the estimated 40 000 Chinese who came to Australia in the nineteenth century seeking their fortune. Racism in the eastern state’ goldfields led to governments there restricting immigration. WA, the smallest colony, decided to swim against the current and began taking the Chinese as a source of cheap labour for projects. There was exploitive abuse by employers of the Chinese labourers and when gold was discovered they soon moved there. Unrest soon followed, with occidentals displaying their violent tendencies against the oriental presence around the mines. The fear of the ‘yellow peril’ was played upon by many early Australian politicians; and it remains a rich vein to mine, even, today.

Black Swan Red Dragon: Perth’s Chinese Presence

The ancestors of people like Pauline Hanson and her followers treated the Chinese and people of other non-white races appallingly; and this is the historical origin beneath the attitudes of many racist Australians today. These Chinese immigrants put up with terrible treatment and overcame it through hard work and determination. Those inimitable Chinese restaurants that dot the landscape of Australian towns and cities, bear testament to the fortitude of these people and their descendants. These Chinese Australian pioneering families survived hatred, social and institutional prejudice. The White Australia policy, then, locked out their relatives for nearly a century from coming to this country.

A Chinese Garden was constructed in Kalgoorlie in 2001 to celebrate the Chinese presence historically in the area. The garden was built by artisan Chinese workers, specially brought out to create a traditional Chinese garden. It was crafted with hand tools only in the traditional way; and remains a surprising presence in an otherwise stark and brutal landscape.

In Perth itself, there is a Chinatown, where Chinese restaurants and food stores proliferate. Located in Northbridge, the nightclub heart of the city, on Roe and James Streets and Nick’s Lane. It seems you can always find the Chinese where the energy and bustling commerce of a city exists, wherever you are around the globe. The Chinese love their food and they are famous for their cuisine. Creating a kitchen cabinet business in Perth is a good idea, because the locals love their food. Even cooking great food has become popular of late. You can have your kitchen custom built to cook Chinese at home. Wok on, I say.