Chinese miner Ballarat. In 1854, not long after the news of the Gold discoveries in Victoria reached the British Colony of Hong Kong large numbers of Chinese diggers began to arrive to seek their fortune on the Gold Fields.
Anti-Chinese Racism | Australian Gold, History & Culture Info/Chinese On The Australian Gold Fields - Historic Gold Rush Village Mogo South Coast NSW Australia
Most migrants who joined the Australian goldrush left behind family and home. This was particularly difficult for the Chinese who came from a traditional culture that focused heavily on parents, family and the ancestral village.
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A gold strike. On the left is the red flag which the regulations stated must be hoisted for a week as soon as gold was found; then comes the syndicate of miners with one holding the dish with four or five nuggets; next is the clerk from the mining warden's office; on the right we see the butcher included by way of "local colour"; as a background, the forge (for the never-ending tool sharpening), and just behind it on the right the actual shaft and its tall whip-pole for horse-power hoisting.
Australian gold rushes - Wikipedia
The Australian gold rushes changed the convict colonies into more progressive cities with the influx of free emigrants. These hopefuls, termed diggers, brought new skills and professions, contributing to a burgeoning economy. The mateship that evolved between these diggers and their collective resistance to authority led to the emergence of an unique national identity. Although not all diggers found riches on the goldfields, many decided to stay and integrate into these communities
1860 Lambing Flat Roll Up Banner | Australia's migration history timeline
Lambing Flat riots 1861. Victoria taxed Chinese at £10 a head. This created an illegal trade whereby the Chinese were dropped off at ports in South Australia. Chinese diggers left Australia and went back to China with their gold. It was a drain on the economy. Riots ensued at gold mines between Chinese and European diggers. So all states legislated against Chinese in 1880. Their number quickly declined and many of those who remained grew vegetables for the European community.
We have an exciting NEW learning program on offer for Stage 3 students: Striking Gold! Travel back in time to Australia in the 1800’s and immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of life on the goldfields.
Children | Ergo
As much as there may have been some opportunities for fun and fossicking, children would have suffered through the same basic living conditions and harsh weather on the goldfields. Children were often used as another source of labour but some managed to earn their own money running errands for diggers or shopkeepers.
Life on the fields | Ergo
The experience of life on the goldfields was different for all who arrived, but few had it easy. Learn about the people and communities who made the gold fields into a vibrant, multicultural and sometimes dangerous place to live.
Chinese Communities Life On The 1850s Goldfields | Australian Gold, History & Culture Info/Chinese On The Australian Gold Fields - Historic Gold Rush Village Mogo South Coast NSW Australia
Life On The 1850s Goldfields - Not Easy For Chinese Various Chinese societies (e.g. the Sze Yap) tried to help their fellow "strangers in a strange land", so that they could be seen to conform with European standards.
People travelled from all over the world to seek their fortune on the Australian goldfields. But when they got to Australia, they found life was tough. The diggers lived in makeshift tents that didn't keep out the weather or thieves. The food was bad, clean water was scarce and every day was full of danger. How did these early emigrants make a life for themselves in this harsh new place?