This painting entitled “Australian Gold Diggings” was painted by Edwin Stocqueler in 1855. It´s a representation of “Diggers”, military slang term used for soldiers from Australia; working in an Australian goldfield. This painting was featured on one of Australia´s Post´s 15oth anniversary re-stamped eveloped.
In 1796, John Macarthur bought his first MERINO SHEEP from a flock of Spanish merino sheep reared in South Africa. Macarthur’s determination changed the destiny of the country as a penal colony. Wool became Australia’s first and foremost economic asset. To this day, Australia is the largest wool producing country in the world. Although gold had been occasionally found early on, the GOLD RUSH began in Australia in 1851. During the Australian gold rushes, significant numbers of workers (both from other areas within Australia and from overseas), relocated to areas in which gold had been discovered. A number of gold finds occurred in Australia prior to 1851, but only the gold found from 1851 onwards created gold rushes. This is mainly because, prior to 1851, the colonial government of New South Wales (Victoria did not become a separate colony until 1 July 1851, and Tasmania did not become a separate colony until 1856) had suppressed news of gold finds which it believed would reduce the workforce and destabilizes the economy.