Bendigo seems an unlikely place to learn a lesson of tolerance. But maybe its not. The wife of my friend (the one I call GAYXJW) had ancestors from there.
Back in the 19th century a lot of people came from all over the world to look for gold. Among them there were many Chinese. They were often very organised, bringing baby pigs on the ships from China, seeds and seedlings for gardens they planned to start, etc. They were organised in the way they went about looking for gold too. That was all in great contrast to European and American gold seekers, whom brought little with them and expected to find big nuggets of gold. The Chinese dug the ground over carefully, and I think, likely found all the gold that could be found. This aroused great jealousy and hatred and often led to riots .
But back to the story of my friend's ancestors-in-law.
One of the Chinese gold seekers in the Wangaratta area of Victoria, did strike it rich (so to speak) and decided to stay in Australia. He bought a small pub in a town called Bright,
some of his descendants still live there. He looked around for a wife, and found a half-Chinese girl in the nearby town of Bendigo. From that union came a family that produced at least one soldier who fought in WW1, and another who fought in WW2 and was a POW of the Germans after being captured in Crete. So perhaps Bendigo, already had some tolerance toward those who could be called 'outsiders.'
The one who was captured by the Germans on Crete, became an atheist. Working in burial details, they had to look for identification and he noted that usually these dead soldiers all had worn photo's of family loved ones that they would never see again, thinking about it, he concluded that there was no god. But he did later became a JW, (quite a few Jws were once atheists- curious isn't it?) and was on the circuit work for some years.
I've gone to some detail to set a scene. At a time, when Australia became hostile to Chinese, and the start of what was called the "White Australia Policy," some were prepared to try another way. (Btw, from piks my friend has shown me, most of the family lost their Chinese looks).
Bendigo is again in the news, with perhaps a lesson in how to overcome intolerance.
This is quite a long TV show (about 45 minutes) but you may learn something from it:
Its from the Australian ABC. (Owned by the Australian government). It maybe only available for a few weeks, so apologies if later it cant be viewed.