World News – UA – ‘Ballarat is still too frenzied for me’: Australia’s quiet towns exactly what these Chinese migrants were looking for


Daniel Kong had trained as a pharmacist before hanging up his white coat for the opportunity to travel the world as a cabin crew member

But he lost his job when the pandemic hit, and although he had lived in Sydney his entire life, he tried to experience something different

Daniel, who calls himself an ABC or a Chinese of Australian descent, was won over by an opportunity that very few Chinese Australians have chosen: to put down roots in the region of Australia

The 2016 census found that less than 8% of people of Chinese descent chose to live outside Australia’s eight capitals

By comparison, over 30% of the general Australian population lives in regional or rural Australia

A 2019 Australian National University study also found that more new migrants are leaving regional areas for large cities compared to 30 years ago

Daniel went the other way around and found himself thousands of miles from the big city where he grew up

« I found an ad online for a pharmacist on Christmas Island, applied and got it, » he said

« There aren’t many young people here on the island many local Chinese are from Malaysia They treat me like their own sons and daughters « 

There are only 1,843 people on Christmas Island and more than one in five has Chinese ancestry, according to the census

As a self-proclaimed adventurer, Daniel enjoyed being able to soak up the sun, surf and quietly observe the famous annual migration of local red crabs

Here’s what it took for these migrant Afghan, Tibetan and Congolese teenagers to feel comfortable with their new life in the Australia region

But the island lifestyle also comes at a cost Finding fresh vegetables has been a challenge and can be very expensive, said Daniel

He also misses travel and hopes to return to see the rest of the world once the pandemic is over

But in the meantime, he found a new DJing hobby at a local community radio station and won over listeners with his catalog of modern Cantonese hits

For those like Daniel, regional Australia can be a chance for a different and exciting time of life

Chen Shi vividly remembers his first impressions of Ballarat after leaving the northeast coast of China six years ago

His hometown of Jinan, with a population of around 87 million, seemed a world away from the former gold mining town of Ballarat, which has around 115,000 people

When Chen, a Chinese doctor, moved with her family to care for her husband’s elderly parents, she did not expect to find a new place to live

« Maybe this is my introverted personality. I appreciated the cleanliness and kindness of [Ballarat], which is completely different from anywhere I have lived in China, » she says

She works five days a week in her Chinese medicine clinic and enjoys gardening and picnicking with her family on her days off

« I hate nightlife and I hate shopping on weekends, but I like driving in nature to feel what life is meant to be I don’t feel alone or out of place », she said

Over 150 years ago, Ballarat was a city buzzing with new riches and gold, and Chinese miners made up nearly 25% of the local population

Today, the Chinese community is made up of less than 10,000 people, according to Chinese community leader Charles Zhang

« Very often it is a foreigner who doesn’t look Chinese at all… [talking to me] proudly about his heritage after finding out that I am from China, » Chen said

« I have a lot of cherry trees, and every year before Christmas I would share them with my close friends and family and have an Australian dinkum barbecue

« Honestly, sometimes I think Ballarat is even too frantic for me I would like to move to an even quieter township to spend my entire retirement life »

Chen’s daughter Wenny Wang, 23, recently returned to Ballarat after the pandemic struck in March

Wenny was working in Melbourne after graduating from college in fashion and styling in 2017

« It’s great to be closer to your family and to come together after so many years living away from home, » she said

To her surprise, she landed her dream job in social media marketing locally, just two months after moving to Ballarat

« To be honest I haven’t given much thought to [relocating], at least for the next couple of years I’ll be anchored here, » she said

Wenjing Wang arrived in Australia in 2017 from the Chinese city of Shenzhen – also known as China’s Silicon Valley – on a working holiday visa

« I moved to Kununurra for over four years because my friend told me there were jobs here, » she said

Kununurra is a township of 5,000 people in the Kimberley region of Western Australia; about 3000 kilometers north of Perth

« There are only two seasons here – wet and dry seasons It could reach over 40 degrees on some days, » she says

Wenjing said the small town has adequate essential services and most importantly, the people are always friendly, caring and greet each other on the street.

She works as a pastry chef at the local pub and has settled down with the help of her owner and colleagues

« I find that I don’t need a lot to live here and I can place more importance on the fun and experience of life, rather than earning a lot of money for material happiness » , she said

« I like my calm and routine Buddhist style life I no longer work 996 [9:00 am to 9:00 pm six days a week] and have successfully learned to swim, which I have never been able to do in China « 

Wenjing said that she struggled to find the ingredients for her Chinese cuisine and that there were very few local Chinese residents, but that didn’t bother her

She said she had no desire to work on a holiday with double pay and instead chose to take days off with friends to explore the backcountry

« I’m planning to move to Brisbane, where I have friends They told me Brisbane is not too crowded like Sydney and Melbourne, and not too quiet like Kununurra, » she said

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AEST = Australian Eastern Standard Time, which is 10 hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time)

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World news – UA – « Ballarat is still too frenetic for me »: Australia’s quiet towns exactly what these Chinese migrants were looking for


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