Within ten years of becoming an independent colony of the British Empire in 1859, the Colony of Queensland was in financial hardship. In January 1867, the Queensland Government responded by announcing a reward for the discovery of a new gold field. In a gully to the east of the Mary River, James Nash discovered alluvial gold in September 1867. On registering the find in Maryborough in October 1867 a rush to the new gold field began. A settlement, later named Gympie, sprang up along the small watercourse. Gympie would become known as “the town that saved Queensland” and gold continued to be mined in the Gympie area until the 1920s. Gympie has become the regional centre of the Mary River Valley agricultural district and in 2016, the Local Government Area contributed around two billion dollars to the Queensland economy. The presentation follows the progress of the Mary River Valley region from its golden days in the mid to late 1800s.
Bernard Fitzpatrick is a geographer with a strong interest in regional geography. Since 1980 he has worked in the areas of cartography, mapping, remote sensing, and spatial analysis associated with natural resource management, agriculture and forestry, undertaking projects over various locations in Australia, Sumatra, and Southern Sudan before becoming the RGSQ Executive Officer in 2014.
Bernard has a personal connection to Gympie through various branches of his family, which have had an association with Gympie since at least 1869.
For more details of the seminar or Geography at USC contact:
Associate Professor Jennifer Carter
Geography Discipline Leader School of Social Sciences
University of the Sunshine Coast
Tel: 5430 1238; 0427 938 245
Photo: courtesy of State Library of Queensland