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Satire on gold diggers

Student activities

Task no. 1

Satire on gold diggers


  • In your own words, tell the story of the experiences of the assistant surgeon during the gold rush.
  • What is Thomas Harriott's opinion of the gold rush? How do you know?
  • Compare von Guerard's experiences (Source 1) with Thomas Harriott's experiences (Source 2)
  • What are the similarities and the differences?
  • Whose opinion of the gold rush do you consider more reliable? Explain why and support your opinion with evidence.

Source descriptions:

  1. An assistant surgeon on a newly arrived ship decides to try his luck on the goldfields.
  2. He digs for no reward.
  3. He then finds surface gold. But his horse won’t carry him AND the gold.
  4. So he walks, until a bushranger relieves him of the horse and the extra weight of gold.
  5. He limps back to Melbourne much poorer.
  6. He opens a chemist shop in Melbourne using some gold he managed to hide from the bushranger.