Fossicking Afar
By Richard Mazzucchelli >

A young immigrant from an impoverished village in southern Switzerland finds love in Victoria, gold in New Zealand and fulfilment in the goldfields of Western Australia.

This story is based on the life of the author’s great grandfather.

Emigrating to the Victorian goldfields Joseph settles in Stawell becoming an underground miner and prospector. He is befriended by Ellen, who he marries some years later.

Next stop Otago, New Zealand but the gold rush is over. His dream does come true when news breaks of a new rush on the west coast where he finds a small but rich gold deposit.

Returning to Stawell, Joseph marries Ellen and they have ten children over 16 years. Only six survive childhood.

Gold fever strikes again. This time it’s in Coolgardie Western Australia in the 1890s and Joseph resumes work in mining. A prospecting expedition nearly kills him.

This is a story of aspiration and fulfilment, in which the heroes are the ordinary men and women who found and mined the extraordinary mineral endowment of Australia and New Zealand.