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Latrobe Local News:
Heritage exhibition tells the story of Gold

A Heritage Council of Victoria travelling exhibition is showing at the Gippsland Heritage Park

By Latrobe City Council - 15th August 2001 - Back to News

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A Heritage Council of Victoria travelling exhibition, being presented as part of Gippsland’s Gold 150 Celebrations, is showing at the Gippsland Heritage Park in Moe from Friday 17 August to Tuesday 4 September.

The exhibition explores in detail the effects of gold on Victoria’s development. In particular, it is a story of transformation which highlights the change within the State as the direct result of the discovery of gold.

Latrobe City Deputy Mayor, Cr Tony Hanning, said the discovery of gold had radically transformed Victoria; bringing with it major economic, social and political change.

"From the first official discovery of gold in 1851, the fledging colony of Victoria changed from a small pastoral settlement to a wealthy, confident and proud settlement boasting major public works and infrastructure, a diverse cultural population and major political and social initiatives which sought to create a more equitable working environment. This is the story of the significant influence the discovery of gold had upon Gippsland and the people who shaped much of the early development of the Latrobe region," Cr Hanning said.

Latrobe City Public Relations Officer, Jeremy Bein, said that as the easy pickings from surface gold found in the Ballarat and Bendigo goldfields had declined, attention had turned to Gippsland as a likely source of gold.

"While Omeo was first to yield riches, it was closely followed by discoveries on the Tanjil River where Blue Rock Reservoir lies today; and prospectors soon headed further north to explore the Upper Thomson and Aberfeldy Rivers," Mr Bein said.

"It was not long before prospectors were working their way south down the Thomson River and discovered gold in a creek that flowed into the Thomson

River from a steep sided valley (Walhalla), which they named Stringer’s Creek.

"While the rush that followed news of the find was hampered by the steep and difficult terrain, the hills around Walhalla were soon crammed with those eager to make their fortunes. In surrounding settlements such as Traralgon and Toongabbie in the Latrobe Valley, business proliferated, as storekeepers, hostelries, blacksmiths and saddlers sought to meet the increasing demand for provisions and services to satisfy the needs of the miners. It was a time of great excitement that would last almost until the eve of the twentieth century," Mr Bein added.

Major Events Development Officer at Latrobe City Council, Janiene Ayre, said the exhibition was just part of Gippsland’s Gold Discovery celebrations, an exciting line up of events taking place across the region until December.

"Events such as the Interactive Sound and Light Show at the Walhalla Long Tunnel Extended Mine, the recreation of the Briagolong to Grant/Crooked River Mail Run, the Port Albert Period Ball, the Packhorse Re-enactment Ride from Toongabbie to Walhalla, open day at the Sale Powder Magazine, the Gold 150 Exhibition at Cowwarr Art Space, and Swift’s Creek ‘Up the Creek’ Festival are set to provide us all with an exciting celebration of our gold heritage," Ms Ayre said.

‘Gippsland’s Gold Discovery’ is an initiative of Latrobe City Council, Wellington, Baw Baw and East Gippsland Shires in conjunction with local tourism associations, business operators, community groups and the small townships in the remote mountain areas in the region," Ms Ayre added.

For more information on the exhibition and events planned for Gippsland’s Gold celebrations, please contact Janiene Ayre, Major Events Development Officer at Latrobe City Council on 1300 367 700.


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