This paper analyses a small group of pieces of gold jewellery in order to explore the digger challenge to the colonial culture of conservative deference in 1850s gold rush Victoria. In spending on lavish gold ornaments, lucky diggers asserted the value of their hard, manual labour to subvert the hegemonic respectability of the colonial elite. The brooches offer evidence of values that informed the digger population in its transformation from optimistic transnational transients into civilians who originated the modern form of the Australian middle class.
Field of Research
210204 Museum Studies
Socio Economic Objective
970121 Expanding Knowledge in History and Archaeology