Perth’s heart of gold came to life on the weekend as hundreds descended on the city for the Gold Industry Group’s (GIG) annual celebration.
Following the successful launch of Perth’s #heartofgold Discovery Trail in October 2017, a free community event took place in the city to unveil the trail’s reverse option - with new interactive features to uncover.
We painted the city gold to celebrate the official opening of the #heartofgold Discovery Trail in Elizabeth Quay! And what fun it was, with more than 1500 braving the cold weather to experience Perth’s first virtual gold trail.
The event was a celebration of the significant role gold has played and continues to play in the development of WA, bringing the stories of early prospectors who first discovered gold to life.
The Gold Industry Group will launch its Heart of Gold Discovery Trail at a free event in Elizabeth Quay this Saturday.
The virtual trail is the first self-guided tour of its kind giving members of the community and visitors to the State an interactive ‘gold’ experience via the Heart of Gold Australia app.
Western Australia’s gold history is both colourful and fascinating. Following the challenges of the First World War, the 1930s brought revitalisation to the gold industry with a rise in the gold price and an increase in foreign investment. However, it was the discovery of a gold nugget in 1931 that created a national sensation and saw many prospectors return to WA.
The Gold Industry Group’s role is vital to educating and engaging with the wider community on the historic, social and economic importance of the gold industry to Western Australia.
“By leading community and industry initiatives we can create change that will positively influence future generations and ensure the industry stays strong,” said Richard Hayes, Gold Industry Group Chairperson.
Gold has retained a hallowed place in the history of the Australian resources sector and beyond for generations, and its central part in Western Australia’s past is both colourful and fascinating.
However, the story is far from over, and the importance of this rarest of precious metals in today’s economy can be seen with more than 70% of the nation’s overall gold production coming from WA. If WA was a country, it would be the 5th largest gold producer in the world.
In 1896, if you opened the door of Boulder Block Hotel and stepped inside, would you expect to find gold?
Yes, there is a story to be told about the secret goings-on at the Boulder Block Hotel. The underground miners of The Golden Mile were “on the gold”, and some of them were said to be selling the gold on the sly at the infamous pub before the whistle blew for the end of shift.
“Fly Flat” doesn’t sound like a prestigious or auspicious name for a place that started a gold rush boom. But on the outskirts of Coolgardie in Western Australia, the flat country with sparse gum trees was rich with alluvial gold, and changed the fortunes of a nation.
In 1892, two prospectors, Arthur Bayley and William Ford found over five hundred ounces of gold at Fly Flat. At today’s gold price, the horde would be valued at over half a million dollars.