On Thursday, January 26th, the Australian Asian Business Women’s Association (AABWA) and the Chinese Australia Cultural Society Ballarat (CACSB), came together to host a spectacular event at Ballarat Wildlife Park, celebrating both Australia Day and Chinese New Year. The day was filled with exciting activities, including raffles, auctions, and a fashion show that was the highlight of the event. Guests were invited to walk down the grass red carpet and show off their outfits, making for a fun and memorable experience.
The purpose of our event was to pay tribute to our Chinese migration history and heritage from where it all started, in Ballarat during the Gold Rush era.
Our event was dedicated to Mr Hu Yunxin, who passed away last year on November 1st, may he rest in peace. It was his wish to donate his beloved books to the Xin Jin Shan Chinese Library. Helen Hu, his daughter also donated her own books to the Xin Jin Shan Chinese Library on behalf of her father. In total, the event successfully raised $5,000.
Lunch was provided by the renowned Maple Palace, offering guests a delicious spread of food to enjoy. The master of ceremonies for the event were Tommy Tao and Jessie Tang, who kept the event running smoothly and ensured that everyone was having a good time. In addition to the festivities, the event served as a charity fundraiser for Xin Jin Shan Chinese Library, with the auction and raffles raising money for a good cause.
The auction featured a range of coveted items, and the raffles offered guests the chance to win a range of prizes. This was made possible by the generosity of our sponsors, including Paspaley, Cartier Chadstone Boutique, Outback Traders, Odysessy Travel, V Young Medical and Aesthetic Clinic, and a special thank you to Greg Parker from Ballarat Wildlife Park, who kindly allowed us to host the event at his venue.
In conclusion, the Australia Day event was a truly remarkable event that brought people from all walks of life together to celebrate Australia's rich culture and heritage and our Chinese ancestors who first came to Australia.
Overall, the event was a resounding success, bringing together friends and families to celebrate the rich culture and heritage of both Australia and China. The joint effort by AABWA & CACSB to bring this celebration to life was truly a testament to their commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive community.
1. Our Australia Day and Chinese New Year displays
2.1 MC Introduction by Jessie & Tommy: Opened the event and introduced the agenda. The MCs started off the event with a quiz about Australia
2.2 AABWA Vice President - Sandy Zhang: welcomed all the members and family friends and guests from AABWA & CACSB. She introduced AABWA’s vision and the purpose to organize this event and why at Ballarat. In1850s, thousands of Chinese people came to Ballarat for gold, they call this Land New Gold Mountain. Sharing our cultural heritage is part of celebrating what it means to be Australian and helping everyone to feel included in our society.
2.3 AABWA Advisory Honored Professor Guosheng: acknowledged the traditional owners of the land. In 1850s, Chinese people came here and call here New Gold Mountain. Now New Gold Mountain (Xin Jin Shan) Chinese Library move back to Ballarat, it is a new monument. We have 70 people came from Melbourne, we have local Ballarat people, Chinese & Australian gathered together to celebrate, to learn and to contribute.
2.4 CACSB President Charles Zhang: Welcome to Ballarat! Ballarat has more to offer to you guys, not only Sovereign Hill and Wildlife park, we do have a lot of history and a lot of sites to be seen. We will be more than happy to host you in future for events like this.
2.5 XJS Chinese Library Haoliang Sun: Today is a great day! Australia Day! Chinese New Year's 5th day is to welcome the God of Wealth. It is also the official grand opening day of Xinjinshan Chinese Library after 6 months trial.
2.6 Owner of Ballarat Wildlife park - Greg Parker: We have been operating since 1985. I have a Chinese background; my grandparents’ Chinese family name is Tai Soon. I love Chinese culture, my grandfather used to teach me Chinese. When I was very young, I didn’t learn it, but I regret it now. Thank you for coming today and Happy New Year!
2.7 Helen Hu: I am a loyal member of AABWA. I am really appreciating to have this opportunity to donate my father’s books to Xinjinshan Chinese Library. My father passed away last year.When he was alive, he told me many times that after he passed away, he wanted me to donate his lifetime collection of English and Chinese bridge books to the New Jinshan Library. When Dad finished playing at the bridge club, he always went to the XinJinshan Chinese Library across the street by the train station to sit for a while and read books and newspapers, and he formed a friendship with the librarian, Mr. Sun Hao Liang. I am really glad his wish is fulfilled today.
2.8 Book Donation: Helen Hu donated her father’s Books and her own books to Xinjinshan Chinese Library
2.9 Auctioneer Sophie Su from Kaye & Burton
3.1 Paspaley donated an auction prize of a $4000 Paspaley gift voucher and Pearl Discovery Experience. Judy Wu from Paspaley said:
Leaving one’s country of birth to make a new life in a new homeland is a big challenge and often underappreciated by those who have never done this.
The challenges are certainly something very close to the Paspaley family’s heart, as it was Nicholas Paspaley MBE who migrated from Greece to Australia way back in 1919, arriving as a refugee after World War 1.
Nicholas Paspaley was just 14 years old when he commenced pearling along Australia’s north-west coast.
From that modest beginning the Paspaley Pearl business has grown exceptionally and today, over 100 years later, the Paspaley family have now been producing the world’s finest pearls for three generations.
Today, Paspaley is the world’s most important producer of cultured pearls. Although the gems remain in the South Sea pearly category, Paspaley pearls have become a category of their own, due to the superior and widely recognized quality.
Paspaley website: https://www.paspaleygroup.com/jewellery.html
3.2 Charles Zhang donated “Walk from Robe” limited edition red wines for auction & Raffle prizes.
In the 1850s, the then Victorian colonial government imposed a discriminatory "poll tax" on Chinese gold miners landing from the coast of Victoria, forcing them to take a detour from the coast of Robe, South Australia, and then walk 500 kilometers into the central Victoria goldfields, with many Chinese gold miners dying in the harsh conditions along the way. To commemorate the hardships of the early Chinese, the local Chinese community organized volunteers of Chinese and other ethnic groups to retrace the "Robe Trail", a 20-day trek from Robe to the Victorian Parliament House on May 25, 2017, to receive an apology from Premier Andrews for the historical injustices suffered by the Chinese in Victoria.
"Walk from Robe" series wines, were released in limited quantities to commemorate this period of Chinese history.
Charles Zhang is the organizer of the 20-day trek from Robe to the Victorian Parliament House.
3.3 Li Zhou: Fashion Designer & Artist: donated one of her beautiful oil on canvas paintings “Sorrento Back Beach 12”
“I paint with my heart, to express my thoughts, to rejoice in sadness.”
Li’s works appear in private collections in Victoria, interstate and internationally. She has also won numerous awards. To find more about her and her paintings,
follow her on Instagram:
3.4 Cartier Chadstone Boutique
3.5 V Young Medical & Aesthetic Clinic: Donated multiple anti aging treatment vouchers. V Young is one of the leading cosmetic clinics in Melbourne, located in 3 locations across Melbourne. They provide a range of affordable and effective non-surgical treatments that work for you. Their team of doctors are well experienced and has worked with institutions all over the world.
3.6 Odyssey Travel: Donated travel vouchers & travel packs for raffle prizes.
Odyssey Travel was established in 1997. It is one of the largest and strongest Chinese travel agencies in Australia. The company's business covers all aspects of ticketing, travel and comprehensive services, with routes throughout Australia and the world, providing high-quality travel products across Australia and China.
3.7 Outback Traders: donated 30pcs luxury bath towels for prizes. They provide quality westerns boots & hats. If you want to dress up western, please check on their website:
3.8 Ballarat Wildlife Park: Winners of the family passes
4.1 Game Photos
4.2 Fashion Show Photos
4.3 Koala Visit
4.4 Announcing total amount raised
4.5 Singing "We are Australian"
5. Group Photos
5.1 CACSB Committee
6. Other photos