The promise of gold

1. Show students a digital image of the board game and show the video about this treasure.

Use the board game and the video to begin a class discussion:

  • What were the pull factors that influenced migration to Australia in the 1850s?
  • What were the push factors that influenced migration to Australia in the 1850s?
  • What would people have to consider if thinking about migrating to Australia?
  • Why might someone choose to migrate to Australia today?

2. Ask students to locate the towns of Bathurst, Ballarat, Clunes and Warrandyte on a map and measure the distance to the nearest ocean. Prompt students to think about what migrants in the 1850s would have brought with them to Australia, and how they might have gone about seeking their fortune in gold or setting themselves up as skilled labourers or business persons.

3. As a class, discuss whether the central image of Race to the Gold Diggings is realistic. Share students’ knowledge of life on the goldfields and discuss whether all experiences were similar to those in the board game’s image.

4. Divide students into pairs or groups to create a board game that promotes Australia as a destination for immigrants today.

5. Ask students to redesign the packaging for Race to the Gold Diggings to reflect Australia’s current ‘resources boom’ period. Students should include changes in clothing, hairstyles and technology.

Other Treasures sources that relate to the concepts explored in this source include: Flag of the Southern Cross and Inland Adventures.