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  • Exploring the journeys of early Chinese Australians (SBS)
Following the formal apology made by Premier Daniel Andrews MP on behalf of the Victorian Government in May 2017 for past discrimination which forced Chinese migrants to make the trek, the opening of the exhibition at the Melbourne Immigration Museum, "From Robe to Chinese Fortunes" , focuses back to 160 years ago.
23 Aug 2017 - 3:05 PM  UPDATED 23 Aug 2017 - 3:05 PM

Created by the Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka (MADE), and the Chinese Community Council of Australian Victoria (CCCAV), the exhibition explores the spirit of determination of thousands of Chinese men who walked from Robe in the south east of South Australia on astonishing journeys to the Victorian goldfields.

Chair of CCCAV Advisory Committee, Hong Lim MP, said, “This Exhibition would go a long way to commemorate the bravery, tenacity, resilience, sacrifice and suffering of those Chinese gold seekers, who walked from Robe 160 years ago. It also acknowledges the significant role and contribution of Chinese to the development and prosperity Victoria and Australia since that time."

Victorian Multicultural Affairs Minister, Robin Scott, says there was an unfounded fear of Chinese migrants at the time.

"This is a very important exhibition because it shows part of Australia's story -- part of the story where we were once a community that discriminated against others overtly through state policy.”

Discriminatory taxes imposed by the colonies pre-Federation forced Chinese passengers to land in Adelaide or Sydney ports and walk to the goldfields, or pay £10 poll tax.

This May, Premier Daniel Andrews MP on behalf of the Victorian Government apologized for it.

Items on display include ornate cutlery used by early Chinese migrants and, as curator Cash Brown explains, elaborate garments handwoven for special occasions.

This exhibition will continue on till March 4, 2018.