Episode 2: “All the mischief Ah Coon is capable of doing”

This episode contains content around child abuse which may be disturbing to some listeners and is not appropriate for children. This episode is dedicated to Rachel Mon Sing, described by Ballarat Circuit Court on April 21 1866 as ‘Neglected Child #1860’.

Episode Two explores the rich history of the Chinese on the Ballarat Goldfields. We discover the disturbing story of the unscrupulous government appointed headman and translator for the Chinese community, Hugh Ah Coon.

We’ll be interviewing academics Anne Beggs-Sunter & Liz Denny to help us unpack just what life on the Goldfields was like for the Chinese communities. We’ll learn how the Chinese were both integrated and held apart, tolerated and reviled. And we’ll find out about the ‘Cemetery Wars’.



Our amazing cast:

Julian Cheung – Aboo Mason
Xun Huang – Hugh Ah Coon
Lena Weng – Rachel Ah Coon
Collin Van Uden – Reporter
Jake Thompson – Investigator
Jessica Grace Netherway – Mrs Baker
Paul Michael Donovan – Governor Reports
Katrina Hill – Mrs Edwards
Vince Tseng – Chinese male


Add yours →

  1. Liz Blizzard 2 Jul 2017 — 7:56 pm

    These stories are fabulous! Congratulations. I did a lot of research about the goldfields for my exhibition currently at the Art Gallery of Ballarat…my great great grandparents lived in the Buckland valley where James Handforth was a goldminer. The Buckland riots occurred on July the 4th 1857 (140 years ago in a few days) when of at least 9 Chinese men were bashed and killed and 40 of their huts were torched.


    • Hi Liz,

      That’s amazing. I was not aware of your exhibition, I’m looking forward to finding some time to check it out later this week! I’ll also schedule a post from our podcast’s Facebook site promoting it, as the overlap with the sorts of stories we are interested in (less heard voices such as women and the darker side of history) is great. Your research and exhibition both sound fascinating. If you’d be willing to have a chat about it with us sometime, please send me an email at talesfromratcity@gmail.com



  2. cameron mason 2 Sep 2018 — 9:02 pm

    Found the story quite fascinating as I am a direct descendant of Aboo Mason. Job very well done.

    Kind Regards,

    Cameron Mason.


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