In 1857 the first of 16,500 Chinese migrants stepped ashore in the village of Robe. From Robe they made there way to the gold fields of Ballarat, where they prospered and went on to become a vibrant part of the Australian community. As a salute to the Chinese migrants who made that historic walk 160 years ago, Chinese Community Council of Australia Vic branch decided to stage a re enactment of the walk.
Robe decided to build a memorial to this important part of our history in the form of a Chinese welcome gate “Pai Fang”. This beautiful structure will be erected on the beach where the first of the migrants set foot. The blessing of the Pai Fang will coincide with the start of the Great Walk, surrounded by a Festival of celebration, including Dragon Boat racing, a parade of Lion dance and dragon dance teams from Bendigo and a food and wine event focusing on the best food and wine of the Limestone Coast.
This will take place on the weekend of May 6 & 7. The Great Walk concludes in the steps of Parliament House in Melbourne with a welcome by the Premier of Victoria.