Dive deep into the history of Blackwood by trying to strike it rich ..... maybe!

Recommended Staff : Student Ratio for this Activity:- 1 : 5
(Blackwood Staff can never be considered as part of any staff : student ratio during the delivery of any lesson)

Risk Register

Sunday 14th November 1854 ... a very historic day for the township of Blackwood.  On this day two friends walked down to fill up their billy at Jacksons Creek, Golden Point so they could make a cup of tea.  While filling their billy they also discovered gold and with their calls of Eureka echoing through the surrounding hills, Blackwood became a desired destination.  Then on Thursday 4th January 1855 gold was found near the Blackwood Sports Oval, known as Ballan Flat at the time, inspiring thousand of people to move to Blackwood.  By the end of 1855 there was 13,000 people in Blackwood primarily focused on finding their fortune through panning and sluicing the waterways and surrounding forest.


Throughout this lesson students will be able to re-create and re-live the history of Blackwood as they challenge themselves to find gold.  This is not an easy lesson and to fully appreciate, enjoy and experience gold panning students will need patient, persistence, determination and a sense of humour as they work together while trying to make a fortune.

When it comes to gold panning students need to remember to:-

  • Try their luck, and
  • Have fun.

So appreciate the surrounding natural environment and step into the Lerderderg River as you do your best, while working together and having fun as everyone tries to strike it rich.  Remember to laugh and enjoy yourself while gold panning and if you persevere and show patient you may just be lucky enough to find gold and once again the hills of the Wombat State Forest will echo with the call of ... EUREKA.

Minimum time allocation: 45min

Victorian Curriculum learning area/capability:

  • HPE – Movement and Physical Activity: Moving the Body, Learning through Movement
  • PSC – Social Awareness and Management: Collaboration

1970 - Gold Panning established at Blackwood Special Schools Outdoor Education Centre


Gold Panning https://www.blackwoodssoec.vic.edu.au/images/lessons/gold-panning/header2_gold.jpg Blackwood Special Schools Outdoor Education Centre

Acknowledgment to Country

We acknowledge the Wurundjeri people who are the traditional Owners of the country we work on and recognize their continuing connection to land, waters and culture. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging. I’d also like to acknowledge the deep knowledge systems and the amazing ability of first nations peoples to pass that knowledge through generations, as incredible teachers themselves. 

Blackwood Special Schools Outdoor Education Centre is a DET Victorian school campus that embraces inclusion and respect for all special school students. Any donations are greatly appreciated and go directly to improving learning outcomes and opportunities for our students.

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