Economy and Industry
Chinese Ah Tong, photographer unknown, circa 1930s, Myrtleford & District Historical Society Collection.Contributors
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Chinese gold rush pioneers founded new industries in Victoria.
For instance the tobacco industry of the Ovens Valley, the region's major industry in the 20th century, was initially developed by Chinese who settled in the area after the Ovens Valley gold rush.
Chinese were also pioneers in the market garden industry, setting up in Melbourne suburbs like Brighton, Camberwell, Coburg and Hawthorn. From 1901-1921 Chinese were the principal vegetable cultivators and distributors of Melbourne.
In some instances, there was no opportunity for Chinese industry to take hold. Chinese cabinet makers began to make a mark in the late 19th century until forced out of the market place by Victorian legislation in the early 20th century.