Poverty and Riches
Unknown photographer, Chinese man outside wooden hut, Albury, circa 1900.Contributors
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Some unlucky miners would end in poverty living on the fringes of society.
Those caught in a spiralling cycle of poverty were unable to raise enough money to go home. Some found themselves living on the margins of Victorian society.
As the supply of gold dwindled, punitive taxes and prohibitions continued to be levied on the Chinese, making it difficult for those in strife to make ends meet. Some moved into market gardening or began hawking wares to survive.
Mental health problems were high amongst Chinese migrants with suicide rates far higher than other sections of the population. Opium abuse and gambling addiction were also widespread.
As the later 19th century wore on and many returned to China, camps became home to older, poorer miners.
This photograph depicts a Chinese man outside a bark hut in Albury on the New South Wales-Victorian border, at around the turn of the century.