Speaker: Dr Megan Neilson
Topic: “Unravelling the family myth: A personal glimpse of Chinese-Australian history”
When I set out to solve a family puzzle I never expected to fall headlong into Chinese-Australian history. The puzzle concerned my great-grandmother Matilda Jane Millar who in 1852 had arrived in Victoria from England, only 11 years old and seemingly unchaperoned. On the Ballarat goldfields Matilda Jane was later to marry my Chinese great-grandfather Chin Kit. There was a romantic family myth about how they had met elsewhere. But the records said otherwise. The unravelling of the true story took me from University College London, to Ballarat and Bendigo in Victoria, to Launceston in Tasmania and ultimately to Guangdong in southern China.