Australian Colonies – Second Wave Settlement

Program Description

In this presentation a student represents a young Convict who is put to work on the construction of a new road, carving a track though the Blue Mountains to expand the lands of New South Wales to the horizon. Our presenter will describe the hard life that our young Convict faces on one of these work crews, these men will be confronted by horrors they could never have imagined. The Australian Outback is a harsh place, hot and dry and teeming with all manner of deadly beasties. Just imagine coming face to face for the first time with a huge Goanna or a big male Red Kangaroo not to mention any of Australia’s huge variety of poisonous snakes, deadly spiders and creepy insects. But if our young lad can endure and survive, work hard and stay out of trouble he could be granted a pardon, a small parcel of land and a fresh start at life.

A student will be asked to portray Erin, a young Irish Orphan Girl who, under the charity of Earl Grey, is sent to New South Wales to help in the Governments call for free settlers. She is adopted by a Shopkeeper who takes her to the frontier settlement of Bathurst. Our presenters will ask students to try and understand what it would be like being a young girl, alone, sent so far away from home and arriving in such an alien environment…what fear she must have felt! In our story Erin perseveres and learns a trade, finds innovative ways to deal with the local pest population and gets to know the local Aboriginal people, witnessing first-hand how they adapt to British colonisation.

Colonial characters on steps

Finally, our presenters will discuss how, after the cessation of convict transportation, the Colonial Governments of Australia look for new ways to entice free settlers to the Colonies. They find this enticement with the discovery of GOLD. Two students will become immigrant Miners caught up in the Gold Rush. Presenters will tell the tale of their optimistic journey to the Victorian Goldfields and how making their fortune turns out to be a lot harder than they ever imagined. Students will then learn of how mining accidents, corrupt policemen, and social class tensions all led inexorably toward a violent clash between Digger and Government on the famous goldfield of Eureka.