THE Golden Dragon Museum will claim itself the national authority on Chinese Australian history with a change of name.

The museum will become the National Chinese Museum of Australia once the building itself has been extended and historic items have been re-curated.

That is likely to be years away.

Museum general manager Anita Jack said the change was heralded in the strategic plan that had been written for the museum and released in 2016.

The museum is making the legal move to the new name by moving the assets of the Golden Dragon Museum from the incorporated body, the Bendigo Chinese Association Museum Inc, to a company limited by
guarantee.

A special general meeting of BCAM will be held on April 10 to vote on the change.

Ms Jack said the change to a limited company structure was a step up in governance

She said it would also allow the museum to more easily access funding and was a more appropriate name for the museum and precinct envisioned in the strategic plan.

“(The name) Golden Dragon Museum doesn’t describe the national and international aspects of our story,” she said.

“When the museum was first opened, it was all about the story in Bendigo.”

But Ms Jack said the museum was now home to historical items donated from around the world, it attracted international visitors and it was about to have made a new imperial dragon.

The 2018 Bendigo Easter Festival is the last formal outing for the 48-year-old Sun Loong.

More than $750,000 was raised and plans are underway to make a son for Sun Loong, to be called Dai Gum Loong.

Ms Jack said the new dragon, the Joss House, the Chinese cemetery and extension plans for the museum meant the precinct could justify a name that gave it national authority.

“Initially it was about telling the Bendigo story, but now people want to know how that fits into a national context, and an international context,” Ms Jack said.

– Sharon Kemp