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Chinese migrants and the Gold Rush

Throughout the 1800s Chinese migrated to colonial Australia to try their luck on the goldfields. This Look to Learn activity enables you to explore what life was like for the Chinese migrants through primary sources from this period.

Interactive

Gold – shaping our identity

This is a task-based resource for students to explore the social, economic, political and environmental impact of the gold rush in Australia in the 1850s. The resource includes videos, SMART notebooks, worksheets and links to further interactive resources. It includes support notes for teachers and/or supervisors in distance ...

Interactive

Sites2See: Gold

This resource is a page supporting the Stage 3 unit 'Gold!' with selected links to information, interactive games, challenges, videos, a podcast, related literature and activities for students and teachers, including the task-based resource Gold: Shaping our identity.

Video

Pipe dreams, 2007: O'Connor's dream for water

This clip is an excerpt from the 2007 film 'Pipe dreams' (55 min), the second episode of a three-part series entitled 'Constructing Australia'. Over black-and-white photographs and dramatised video of the key players, a narrator describes the significant challenges of supplying water to the WA goldfields in the late 19th ...

Image

Australian gold diggings, c1855

This is an oil painting measuring 70.5 cm x 90.3 cm, painted about 1855 by Edwin Stocqueler (1829-1895), showing men working on the Bendigo gold field in Victoria. The men are panning, puddling and cradling for gold on both sides of a stream in a tent-dotted valley. The valley is stark, with only a few trees remaining. ...

Image

Forest Creek, Mount Alexander, 1852

This is a hand-coloured lithographic print prepared by John Allen in 1852 from a drawing by George French Angas. The lithograph, with text, measures 26 cm x 35.5 cm and shows Forest Creek at the Mount Alexander gold diggings in central Victoria.

Interactive

Biography: Federation people: Henry Ellis

Investigate the role played by the doctor Henry Ellis in the events leading up to, and following, Federation in Australia. Examine two different types of biographies of Ellis: one short and the other more detailed. Inspect examples of how he was visually depicted in his time. This learning object is one in a series of objects ...

Image

'Cradling, Forrest Creek', 1853

This is an 1853 hand-coloured lithographic print, entitled 'Cradling. Forrest Creek'. It was made by Samuel Thomas Gill (1818-80) from a sketch done on the spot as he watched gold miners cradle for gold at Forest Creek (as it was more commonly spelled), in Victoria. One miner scoops water into the cradle, while the other ...

Image

'The new rush', 1865

This is a coloured print, measuring 19.4 cm x 25.2 cm, by the famous colonial artist Samuel Thomas Gill (1818-80), published in 'The Australian Sketchbook' in 1865. It shows a gold rush scene, probably in Victoria, with a stream of prospectors travelling along a dirt road. Several are walking beside their horses and heavily ...

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'Gold digging in Australia 1852: bad results'

This is the first of a pair of oval watercolours, measuring 20.2 cm x 26.4 cm, painted by Samuel Thomas Gill (1818-80), a famous colonial artist. It shows two gold miners sitting dejectedly beside their mine, probably on the Victorian gold fields. Behind the men is a windlass, as well as their wheelbarrow, pick and spade. ...

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Chinese men on the road to the Palmer River gold field, 1875

This black-and-white wood engraving shows a stereotypical image of Chinese men walking in a line to the Palmer River gold field in northern Queensland. It appeared in the Australasian Sketcher with the title 'CHINESE ON THE ROAD TO THE PALMER'. The six men in the foreground are wearing a variety of traditional clothing ...

Image

A boxing match in Bendigo, 1853

This is a hand-coloured lithograph, measuring 15.8 cm x 19.5 cm, entitled 'A BENDIGO MILL'. It was made by Samuel Thomas Gill (1818-80) from a sketch he did on the spot as he watched a boxing match in Bendigo, Victoria, and it featured in his publication 'Sketches of the Victoria gold diggings and diggers as they are'. ...

Image

'Arrival of the mail, Myers Flat diggings', probably 1850s

This is a black-and-white print, measuring 17.7 cm x 21.6 cm, created from a wood engraving. It shows two men seated on a horse-drawn, two-wheeled buggy. Nine miners are gathered by the buggy, awaiting the delivery of letters, reading letters or newspapers and exchanging news. Although not visible on this image, the title ...

Image

'The claim disputed', c1852

This is a watercolour, measuring 19.4 cm x 25.4 cm, by Samuel Thomas Gill (1818-80), a famous colonial artist. It shows a well-dressed man - presumably the Gold Commissioner - arbitrating a dispute over a claim involving three diggers, probably on the Victorian gold fields. Two of the diggers are in animated discussion ...

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'Gold digging in Australia 1852: fair prospects'

This is a watercolour, the second of a pair, measuring 20.2 cm x 26.4 cm, by Samuel Thomas Gill (1818-80), a famous colonial artist. It shows two gold miners standing near a mine shaft, inspecting a handful of gold, at the edge of a creek. One of the men is leaning on a pick and a panning dish is lying on the ground nearby. ...

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Concert room at Ballarat, 1855

This is a watercolour, measuring 22.8 cm x 31.9 cm, by Samuel Thomas Gill (1818-80), a famous colonial artist. It shows Charles Thatcher (1831-78), a comic singer well known on the gold fields, performing popular songs on stage at the Charlie Napier Hotel in Ballarat with a female accompanist. The painting has the artist's ...

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Horsedrawn whim on a gold field at Gympie, 1870-80

This is a black-and-white photograph of the minehead area at a Queensland goldmine. It shows the mine's headframe and a horsedrawn 'whim'. The whim consists of a wooden derrick construction with two large vertically mounted drums at its centre, one with a rope wound around it. The rope is connected at one end to the swivel ...

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Chinese people on the way to the Ravenswood gold fields, 1870

This pen-and-wash sketch dated 9 December 1870 depicts four Chinese men and a dog on the way to the gold fields at Ravenswood in northern Queensland. Made by Donald Sydney Thistlethwayte it is titled ''Celestials' on the way to Ravenswood diggings'. The men are dressed in traditional Chinese clothing. One wears sandals ...

Interactive

Biography: Federation people: George Leake

Investigate George Leake's role in the move towards Federation. Examine two different types of biographies of Leake: one short and the other more detailed. Inspect examples of how he was visually depicted in his time. This learning object is one in a series of objects in the 'Biography: Federation people' series.

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Ophir gold diggings in 1851 - asset 1

This is a hand-coloured lithographic print of a painting by George French Angas showing a stream zigzagging through she-oaks and sparsely treed cliffs at what was to become Ophir, Australia's first gold rush site. The print shows 14 miners prospecting using several different methods. Measuring 24.2 cm x 35 cm, the print ...