The gold rushes from 1851 until the early 1900s were very important to Australia’s History. Up to that time, Indigenous Australians occupied most of the country, although some had already been pushed off their lands. In 1788, the first settlers from Europe, mostly English and Irish, arrived and established new towns along the cost.
The First Rushes:
In 1851, a group of prospectors, led by a man called Edward Hargraves, found gold near Bathurst in NSW. Within days of the announcement of this discovery, a gold rush started. In the next few months, gold was found near Ballarat and Bendigo in Victoria, starting another rush. People came from all over Australia and overseas, facing enormous hardships and danger to search for their fortunes.
Australia Changed forever:
The gold rushes changed Australia forever. Towns and farms sprang up across the country that had not been there before. These towns were joined by roads, railways and telegraph lines to serve the new settlers. By the end of the gold rushes in the early 1900s, goldminers had forced the government to change laws about who could vote, be a member of parliament or come to live in Australia. People began to think of themselves as Australians, with their own ways of doing things. Australia has changed forever.
Life on the Gold fields
Life on the goldfields could be exciting, but could also be difficult, dangerous and uncomfortable, so few women or children lived on the goldfields at first. To reach the goldfields, diggers walked or rode long distances over rough tracks, because proper roads had not been built. Diggers had to make their own shelters when they arrived. Most lived in tents or bark huts. Houses, hotels and shops of timber, tone or brick were built on the bigger goldfields when people began to settle there.
It was difficult for people to meet their daily needs on the goldfields. They had to carry most of their supplies to the...