‘New Gold Mountain’ glitters again – a first look

SBS brings New Gold Mountain to the screen in its first venture into multicultural colonial Australia.
New Gold Mountain: Chinese people in colonial Bendigo street

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.

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David Tiley was the Editor of Screenhub from 2005 until he became Content Lead for Film in 2021 with a special interest in policy. He is a writer in screen media with a long career in educational programs, documentary, and government funding, with a side order in script editing. He values curiosity, humour and objectivity in support of Australian visions and the art of storytelling.

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