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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware this website contains images, voices and names of people who have died.

Defining Moments: Gold rush

The discovery of gold in the 1850s started a series of rushes that transformed Australia. See this defining moment in Australia’s history brought to life, as written by historian David Hunt.


1. Why did colonial governments want to keep early discoveries of gold a secret? Why did they change their minds?

2. Who found the first significant gold deposits in 1851 and how did he make his fortune?

3. What were the lasting impacts of the discovery of gold?