Australian gold rush timeline, HSIE, Discovering gold, Gold! Year 6
The first major mineral discovery - gold - was a watershed (a turning point or landmark) for Australian society. The initial stages of the gold rush were responsible for tremendous changes in the community, bringing Australia's first great waves of immigration from countries other than England and Ireland. Ambitious prospectors from Asia, Europe and America made the trek to the goldfields of Ballarat and Bendigo in Victoria, and Bathurst in New South Wales, in the hope of striking it rich. This influx of people brought many social changes, including an increase in racial tensions with the persecution of some groups, notably the Chinese. Government Surveyor James McBrien discovers traces of gold in the Fish River, east of Bathurst. Explorer and geologist Paul de Strzelecki discovers small amounts of gold in silicate near Hartley in the Blue Mountains. The 1840s Early gold discoveries were greeted with fear. William Campbell finds gold on his sheep run in Strathlodden, Victoria, in 1840.