More than 200 unmarked graves at Ararat Cemetery will be given headstones under a project being carried out by Friends of Gum San.
Some 300 Chinese early settlers are buried to the left of the cemetery's entry gates, but most are only marked by small plates with burial numbers inscribed on them.
These plates are hard to see and don't identify who is buried there.
Henry Gunstone, chair of Friends of Gum San, said the group initiated the project over a year ago as part of an ongoing effort to recognise the people who contributed to Ararat's history.
"The Friends of Gum San decided to do something about our Chinese history, and we wanted to start with the Chinese section at the Ararat Cemetery," he said.
"There are only about 10 headstones there now, and there is around some 327 Chinese buried there. Some of the graves have got two, three, even four or five people in them."
The burial dates go back to the 1860s, and Mr Gunstone said records meant the committee is able to get names inscribed on the headstones.
"All of them are buried under a name - whether it's their true name we don't know, but we have to go by what the cemetery records say," he said.
"We had a meeting and picked out that design for the headstone, which features a Chinese miner on the front of it.
"I think it's a very worthwhile project and one that should be finished. It has a lot to do with our heritage."
The group is funding the project, which is expected to cost about $35,600.
"We've raised the money over a period of time," Mr Gunstone said.
"We've done catering jobs, cleaned halls after people have used them, and the proceeds of the Trash and Treasure markets (helped) - and of course, we go around the markets and have goods with us we sell."
The headstones are currently being made by a contractor, and Mr Gunstone said the project is anticipated to be finished in November.
Ararat Cemetery Trust chair Bill Jones said the trust supported the project.
"We think it's important that the heritage of the Chinese involvement in Ararat is identified and recorded," he said.
"We see that at Gum San, but there are a significant number of Chinese pioneers buried in this section of the cemetery. We have Chinese pioneers buried in the main cemetery as well, but the vast majority of them are buried in this front corner.
"The Chinese buried there range from miners ... to merchants, farm workers and gardeners - there's a whole range of people buried in the old section."
IN OTHER NEWS:
While you're with us, you can now receive updates straight to your inbox each Friday morning from The Ararat Advertiser. To make sure you're up-to-date with all the news from Ararat and districts, sign up here.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.