A pedigree is your Chow's family tree. When you purchase a pedigreed, registered pup in Australia, the Kennel Club affiliate in your area will provide you with a certificate of registration (when you transfer the ownership) that has listed on it a certified pedigree of your puppy showing three generations. Many breeders have information going back even further on your puppy and may provide it to you if you ask for it.
While someone knowledgeable can pick up a pedigree and be able to tell a great deal about the puppy, many of us don't have the knowledge or the skill. Something I read once suggested that if you are unfamiliar with pedigrees, it is a good rule of thumb to look to see how many of your puppy's parents, grandparents and great grandparents were titled Champions. What this will tell you is that other people (dog show judges) considered those with CH (champion) in front of their name to be sound representations of the breed.
At present, if you are interested in looking at pedigrees, there are two sites on the internet of which I am aware that provide pedigrees for the many Chows with strong American, Canadian and English lineages. Many of these Chows also have pictures accompanying the data. These two sites are:
Lohan Chows Pictorial Pedigrees
The Chinarose Chow Pedigree Program