The Change – becoming Australian, the Chinese experience
The premier of The Change at Sydney’s Star Event Centre heralds a fascinating new development in the presentation of Chinese-Australian history. Produced, researched, directed by and presenting Chinese-Australians the film gives us a very special perspective of Australia’s Chinese history.
Largely based on the history and oral accounts of fourth and fifth generation Australian’s descended from Bendigo goldminers, the film nevertheless manages to present a broadly encompassing history of the depth and nature of Chinese-Australian history. While gold mining origins are given much time, the re-walking of the Robe trek made by many Chinese gold miners in the 19th century by a Chinese migrant and his first generation Australian son brought the past and the present of Chinese-Australia into wonderful focus.
Of course there are the usual quibbles about historical accuracy to be made, with the old myth of round Chinese mining shafts trotted out yet again, and nothing said about the so many other aspects of Chinese-Australian history that has nothing to do with gold mining or Bendigo for that matter. But that being said, the film is an interesting and worthwhile presentation of a history that continues to be under-represented in the Australian communities awareness of its own history. Hopefully this film will soon be joined by other representations of Australia’s fascinating and worthwhile Chinese-Australian history.