Labor’s $100k offer to repair vandalised Chinese dragon as police lay charges

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun5,2024
The federal government has offered $100,000 towards the restoration of the world’s oldest processional dragon and other important artefacts at Bendigo’s Golden Dragon Museum.
Police have charged a man and a woman who they allege caused damage at six sites around Bendigo including the museum.
A 43-year-old man and a 44-year-old woman from Seabrook were charged criminal damage and were bailed to appear before Bendigo Magistrates’ Court on 23 August.
L is about 29 metres long, requires 22 carriers, and was paraded from 1901 to 1970. It made an appearance at the opening of Australia’s parliament in 1901.

Police allege the vandals also damaged Sun Loong — the second of Bendigo’s three main processional dragons brought from Hong Kong to replace Loong in 1970.

Chinese artifacts including a dresser and processional dragon

Loong was paraded from 1901 to 1970 and holds the distinction of being the oldest intact processional dragon in the world. Source: Supplied

Sun Loong (New Dragon) requires 57 carriers and is about 100m long. It features 40,000 beads and 90,000 mirrors and its head weighs 20.5kg.

The vandals allegedly damaged $100,000 worth of paintings and statues at the museum, before targeting sculptures at a Buddhist monument northwest of the Victorian regional town.
Multicultural Affairs Minister Andrew Giles announced the funding on Thursday and said the government strongly condemns the attack.
“The unacceptable defacing of Loong the Dragon — a symbol of strength and resilience for many in the Chinese Australian community — shocked many Australians,” Giles said in a statement.
“There is no place for this behaviour in Australia.”
The Golden Dragon Museum’s CEO Hugo Leschen told SBS Chinese the museum was grateful for the government’s “quick response”.
He also thanked local MP Lisa Chesters for “her unstinting support and advocacy of the Museum, our work, and our projects”.

“I want to also thank the community, both locally across Greater Bendigo and further afield across Australia and beyond, for their messages of support and best wishes,” he said.

A large Chinese processional dragon carried by several people in a parade

Sun Loong was Bendigo’s parade dragon from 1970 until 2019. Source: Supplied /

Doug Lougoon, Vice President of the Bendigo Chinese Association, the organisation that owns Loong, told SBS Chinese the vandalism had “really hit at the heart of Bendigo Chinese community”.

“The museum and the dragons in particular are such an integral part of our society here in Bendigo,” he said.
“They’re much loved right across our community. 
“It is very close to my heart because (Sun Loong) is the dragon that I grew up with. He’s a dragon that I’ve carried the most.”

Produced in collaboration with SBS Chinese.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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One thought on “Labor’s $100k offer to repair vandalised Chinese dragon as police lay charges”
  1. It is truly disheartening to hear about the vandalism towards such important cultural artifacts. The government’s offer to support the restoration efforts is commendable, and I hope justice is served to those responsible for this heinous act.

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