The colonial goldfields in Australia were brutal places, even though they were so thoroughly policed that not a single ounce of metal was stolen from the escorts slogging down to Melbourne. So much of our collective history clustered in those hills as men dug with nothing to save themselves but a shovel, a wheelbarrow and tattered claims to pieces of land. SBS’ New Gold Mountain will retell this history, shining new light on the myths of colonial Australia.
Screen creators have tried for generations to tell the story of the Chinese immigrants on the goldfields as we remember the tales of mob violence and persecution, baked into government regulations. But the history never really fitted cliches, and there was so much about those journeys from Guandong Province that Anglo-Celtic Australia knew nothing about.