The Victorian Government today announced a plan to invest $10.5 million into helping culturally diverse Victorians escape family violence.
The Premier of Victoria recently recognised seven international students for their outstanding accomplishments in Victoria’s international education sector at the annual Victorian International Education Awards in Melbourne.
The descendants of Victoria’s Chinese gold miners who arrived during the Victorian gold rush have received a historic apology from the Victorian government for the racist laws and appalling conditions which were afflicted on their forbears.
The Victorian Gold Rush of the 1850s triggered mass migration to the region from all corners of Australia and the world, drawn by the allure of gold and wealth. This was the case for the Chinese miners, who, alongside gold, also found racist policies designed to discriminate against them.
Premier Daniel Andrews met with the descendants of these Chinese miners at the steps of the Victorian parliament house and told them,
“It is never too late to say sorry. To every Chinese Victorian…on behalf of the Victorian Parliament, on behalf of the Victorian Government, I express our deepest sorrow and I say to you we are profoundly sorry.”
To mark the 160’s anniversary, the descendants of these early miners traced the steps their ancestors took. To avoid the 10-pound fee of disembarking in Victoria, many early miners disembarked in South Australia and trekked across the country instead. The road was treacherous and many succumbed to starvation or exhaustion.
After the descendants traced the steps of their ancestors, they were greeted by the Premier at Victoria Parliament House which also showcased a variety of Chinese cultural events.
One of the descendants, Adrian Hem said,
“It gives us a great sense of pride, in what our forebears did. History is a great teacher. The present teaches us what a great country we have and the future will show, hopefully, that we can all live together in harmony.”
In Victoria, the State Government’s decision to instate multicultural signs has drastically improved the safety on the Great Ocean Road.
The Great Ocean Road is a heritage listed stretch of road; famous for scenic tourist sites such as the Twelve Apostles limestone stacks off the shore of the Port Campbell National Park. Despite being known for its beauty, the Great Ocean Road is also known as a dangerous place for drivers.
This is particularly true for the over 7 million tourists who use the roads with the largest proportion coming from China, due to the lack of signage in languages other than English.
This changed after the Victorian State Government invested $53 million on top of the $50 million State and Federal program of capital works and maintenance into improving the Great Ocean Road. New multilingual signs display 25 different messages and will be used during peak road work periods. These signs are a welcome addition as Minister for Multicultural Affairs Robin Scott said,
““These signs are another way we are welcoming and encouraging international visitors to our State.”
This is alongside other improvements such as roadside remediation works such as rock netting and retaining walls in order to make the roads safer for everyone. As the Minister for Roads and Road Safety, Luke Donnellan states,
““The Great Ocean Road is a Victorian icon that attracts millions of visitors each year. We want people to have a safe and memorable experience when they visit the shipwreck coast.”
This will no doubt have a positive effect for tourism in the region as well as catering to the diverse array of tourists who visit to see and experience Australia’s beautiful natural sites. As the Member for Western Victoria Gayle Tierney states,
“Tourism is a vital part of our local economy and these new signs are just one way that we are making sure the Great Ocean Road continues to welcome visitors from around the world.”