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EnhanceTV :: Feature Articles :: Australia's rush for gold

Australia's rush for gold
Australia's rush for gold 
There is evidence that gold was discovered in Australia as early as the 1830s, however those who found the gold, as well as the colonial authorities, did not want the staggering influx of people seen in California, so they kept the finds a secret. In fact, it was believed that the discovery of gold would bring with it criminals and entice much needed workers away from their jobs. By the 1850s, however, colonial authorities were confronted with a serious manpower shortage. Huge numbers had fled to the Californian gold fields and it seemed that only the discovery of gold in Australia would ensure their return.

Edward Hargraves had just returned to his homeland from the excitement of the Californian gold fields. He noted that there were some geographical similarities between California and New South Wales. He felt that these similarities could mean that there was gold to be found. He travelled to a watering hole near Bathurst and discovered a very small grain of gold there. He named the place Ophir and returned to inform the authorities and also the newspapers. Word began to spread and soon prospectors from all over the world began to head towards this far off British penal colony. The gold rush had begun.
 

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Learning Areas History, K - 6, Society & Culture
Level Primary
Price: Free

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