Recently, while driving to Sydney, we were listening to a podcast from Radio National, The Ark, that had been broadcast back in April 2008 about The Man behind Vinnies. This program was about the 19th century champion in Australia of St. Vincent de Paul (a Catholic chartiable society whose main aim is to look after the poor) an eminent architect and politician, Charles O'Neill.
The Broadcaster, Rachel Kohn, was interviewing the author of a book about Charles Gordon O'Neill, Stephen Utick. To read the full transcript of this program, click here.
This program was fascinating in lots of ways but the part that I found particularly interesting was Utick's describing how O'Neill was collecting notes about the gold discoveries, particularly in Victoria and how he was very much taken by the prosperity of old colonial Victoria. Kohn adds: "Well that was certainly a boom and bust time, and one of the issues he seems to take up is the unfair taxes on gold miners. And also the rising number of orphans in a society in which men often ditched their wives."
How often do we think of the different perspectives of the Gold Rush here in Australia?
If you are considering having your students study the Gold Rush this year [and we know that most students in Years 5 - 6 study the Gold Rush at some point!], think about creating a WebQuest that has the perspective of an orphan, or a deserted wife, or a charitable worker! This book and the following website links may help:
If you want to read more about Charles Gordon O’Neill, go to the Australian Biographical Online
To read about "Orphans in Victoria", go to the PROV record.
Aside from the Gold Rush, you might want to create a WebQuest on Religious Thought and "Abundance Theology" for students in Years 9 - 12. Charles O'Neill life and actions could form the basis of this WebQuest. You might like to read an article by Brian Coyne, Editor of Catholica.
If you want to read this book by Stephen Utick, you should be able to find it from the following information:
Title: Captain Charles: Engineer of Charity
Author: Stephen Utick
Publisher: Allen & Unwin, 2008