Ballarat's Chinese migrants honoured

WOOD WORK: An artist works on the Pai Fang welcome gate calligraphy to remember Australia's Chinese migrants who arrived on the Ballarat gold fields in the 1850s.

WOOD WORK: An artist works on the Pai Fang welcome gate calligraphy to remember Australia's Chinese migrants who arrived on the Ballarat gold fields in the 1850s.

A walk to re-enact the arrival of Chinese migrants on the Ballarat gold fields will be hosted in the coastal South Australian town of Robe on May 5 and 6.

More than 16,000 migrants first stepped onto Australian shores at Robe from 1857.

From there they made their way to Victorian gold fields.

As a salute to the Chinese migrants who made that historic walk 160 years ago, the Chinese Community Council of Australia Victoria will stage a re-enactment of the walk.

Robe has also decided to build a tribute to this important part of Australia’s history.

A Chinese Pai Fang welcome gate has been designed by architect Tim Rogers.

The designs for the gate were sent to China for ratification to ensure it complied with Chinese culture.

Ballarat wood carver Charles Zhang carved the specifically designed calligraphy into the gate’s timbers.

It will be erected on the beach where the first of the migrants set foot.

Today 1.3 million Australian Chinese make up four per cent of the country’s population.