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Gold Rush Immigration

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Years 3-6

Session description

Students explore the stories of gold rush immigrants and discover their reasons for coming and the legacies they left behind


Classroom resources

Student reading: Murray, Kirstie  (2003), Bridie’s Fire, Allen and Unwin, Sydney, Australia.
Teaching Kit: Put Yourself in the Picture; Nineteenth Century Immigration
Student Activities:
Victorian Goldfields Population - Using Maths in History, Chinese Miners on the Victorian Goldfields - Using Maths in History
Bibliography: Gold Rush Immigration.
Sovereign Hill Research Notes: Characters of the Gold Fields,  The Great Irish Famine –1846; A Safe Passage,
Audio: Chinese For Creswick, They are a great Nuisance, Inferior Races
Useful internet sites: Public Records Office -Unnassisted Passengers List,  Public Records Office - Assisted British Immigration List (Search for families)

Victorian Curriculum

Community and First contacts
In Levels 3 and 4, students explore the history and diversity of their community and the celebrations and commemorations, symbols and emblems important to Australians and others. They are introduced to world history and movement of peoples. … students examine European exploration and colonisation in Australia and throughout the world up to the early 1800s. Students examine the impact of exploration on other societies, how these societies interacted with newcomers, and how these experiences contributed to their cultural diversity.
Relavant key questions:
What is the nature of the contribution made by different groups and individuals in the community?
Why did the Europeans settle in Australia?
Historical Knowledge:

  • The role that people of diverse backgrounds have played in the development and character of the local community and/or other societies

From Colony to Nation
In Levels 5 and 6, students study colonial Australia in the 1800s and the development of Australia as a nation, particularly after 1900. Students look at the founding of British colonies and the development of a colony. They learn about what life was like for different groups of people in the colonial period. … Students understand the significance of Australia’s British heritage, the Westminster system, and other models that influenced the development of Australia’s system of government. Students learn about the way of life of people who migrated to Australia and their contributions to Australia’s economic and social development.
Relevant key questions:
What do we know about the lives of people in Australia’s colonial past and how do we know?
Who were the people who came to Australia? Why did they come?
What contribution have significant individuals and groups made to the development of Australian society?
Historical Knowldge:

  • The causes and the reasons why people migrated to Australia from Europe and Asia, and the perspectives, experiences and contributions of a particular migrant group within a colony

In Levels 3 and 4, the curriculum continues to develop students’ mental map of the world and their understanding of place …

In Levels 5 and 6, the curriculum focuses on the concepts of place and interconnection. Students’ mental maps of the world are further developed through learning the locations of the major countries in the Asia region, Europe and North America. The scale of study goes global as students investigate the geographical diversity and variety of connections between people and places

Civics and Citizenship
At Levels 3 and 4 … Students also explore how individuals participate in their community, cultural diversity and how belonging to different groups can shape personal identity.

Intercultural Capability
In Levels 3 and 4, …The curriculum provides the opportunity for students to compare different cultures. They use their experiences of family, school and wider community to reflect on cultural diversity within Australia.

At Levels 5 and 6 … The curriculum provides the opportunity for students to explore aspects of their life that are culturally determined. Students further develop their awareness of cultural diversity and reflect on intercultural experiences and how this influences their own personal attitudes and beliefs.

Personal and Social Capability
In Levels 3 and 4, the curriculum focuses on developing students’ understandings of positive relationships and connections. …They learn about the importance of valuing difference in individuals and groups and how appreciating diversity contributes to positive relationships.

At Levels 5 and 6 … Students consider the characteristics of respectful relationships and the behaviours that demonstrate sensitivity to diversity.