New Collection Item On Display

What is this new collection item on display next to our front desk?

Donated by Charles Zhang, this shirt was worn during and signed to commemorate the 160th Anniversary Walk from Robe to Melbourne

 

In the 1850s-60s, Chinese arrivals had to pay a £10 per head poll tax to land in Victoria. To avoid this, many instead landed in Robe, SA, and walked 500 km to the Victorian Goldfields. The journey was dangerous and not always successful.

There have been several recreations of this journey, including walks from Robe to Ballarat in 2013 and 2016.  In May 2017, the Chinese Community Council of Australia organised a 20-day reenactment of the walk from Robe to Victorian Parliament House. Premier Daniel Andrews and hundreds of citizens greeted them with a formal apology for the Government’s discriminatory policy, following similar apologies in New Zealand(12 February 2002) and Canada (22 June 2006), and the USA (18 June 2012).

The donor, also a cultural advisor to the Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka and current Vice President of the Chinese Australian Cultural Society Ballarat, has participated in several recreations of the walk.