I'm a Victorian freelance writer & photographer living in the Macedon Ranges north of Melbourne.
Chinese Goldfields Trek
The Chinese Fortunes Festival at Melbourne's Immigration Museum on Sunday 20th August is the opening day of the Museum's From Robe To Chinese Fortunes Exhibition that will run until March 2018.
The Chinese Fortunes Festival will open with a Lion Dance followed by activities highlighting the contribution of Chinese immigrants during and since the gold rush. Photo: Ian Gill / Footloose PhotoBank
The exhibition tells the incredible story of thousands of Chinese who made their way to the Victorian gold rush in the 1850s to seek their fortune. It focuses on the 16,500 who were landed at Robe in South Australia from 1857 to 1863 and who walked more than 400 kilometres to the gold fields to avoid the heavy taxes imposed on Chinese immigrants by the Victorian Government.
This memorial on the foreshore at Robe SA commemorates the landing of 16,500 Chinese immigrants here who then walked overland to the Victorian goldfields. Photo: Ian Gill / Footloose PhotoBank
The Chinese Fortunes Festival will open with a Lion Dance followed by activities throughout the day including live music by the Chao Feng Orchestra and a free dumpling demonstration and tasting courtesy of Dumpling Mania.
Youngsters will be kept busy with activities including making their own paper fortune teller and dancing dragon.
This story board in the bar of Robe's historic Caledonian Inn recounts the story of the Chinese migration. Photo: Ian Gill / Footloose PhotoBank
Leading in to the Chinese Fortunes Exhibition the one-day festival provides a great opportunity for visitors to the Immigration Museum to get to know little known aspects of Chinese life on the gold fields and the significant contribution Chinese immigrants have made to the Australian way of life.
Why? Take the opportunity to learn something of the Chinese and the hardships they faced not only getting to the Victorian gold fields but also the racism and violence they experienced working alongside the European diggers.
When:The Chinese Festival is on Sunday 20th August between 11 Am and 4 PM. The From Robe To Chinese Fortunes Exhibition will run until 4th March 2018.