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Unearthing nuggets of family history in the Goldfields

December 9, 2019 Visit South Pacific No Comments Email Email

Australia’s Golden Outback is looking for interested applicants who have connections with Western Australian city Kalgoorlie Boulder or the Goldfields region to dig deep into their family history.

The chosen applicant will have their journey of discovery documented, and with assistance from the experts at the Eastern Goldfields Historical Society, uncover their ancestral past as well as travel to historical locations in the region in a similar style to the popular television program ‘Who Do You Think You Are’.

Australia’s Golden Outback CEO Marcus Falconer said that there are many hidden stories just waiting to be unearthed.

“It could be an interesting discovery for someone, there are so many people out there who have connections to the Goldfields from the old gold rush days,” Mr Falconer said.

“Our early discussions have shown that people have a real curiosity about their ancestral past and it could open up a new tourism opportunity for the region. It’s quite exciting.”

The Goldfields region became famous overnight when in 1893, three Irish prospectors, Thomas Flannagan, Daniel Shea and Paddy Hannan, who Kalgoorlie’s main street is named after, found 100 ounces of gold. The gold rush was on and within the space of a week there were 1,400 prospectors working the gold fields.

News of the gold quickly spread around the world and the mining centre was funded from London Stock Exchange. Thousands of prospectors rushed to the Goldfields from Ireland, United Kingdom, Europe and from interstate.

As the gold finds grew so too did the population. Lonely clusters of tents and makeshift huts were soon transformed into booming Western Australian gold rush towns complete with grand hotels, butchers, bakers, schools and churches. And with the completion of the Golden Pipeline, the arid region was given a constant supply of fresh water.

Many of the original townships remain and though the populations are not as huge, the character buildings and museums provide a fascinating glimpse into the wild and colourful spirit of the gold rush era.

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