Gold-seeker to show the way

Published on 23 December 2013

When Michael Hamilton takes visitors out for a walk on the Wedderburn goldfields, it’s highly unlikely he’ll get lost.

Michael grew up in the area and spent countless hours with his dad and brother scouring the bush around the town for gold.

Now, he’s coming back to share his knowledge and experience with others.

“I’m the fifth generation of my family who is into gold,” Michael says.

“There’s a fair bit of mining history in the lives of my ancestors.

“We moved to Borung in 1981 and I attended both the primary and secondary schools in Wedderburn.”

Now a plumber and living in Nathalia, Michael has teamed up with Loddon Shire Council to present a series of workshops starting at Easter, aimed at giving others the chance to learn about prospecting and try their luck in the field.

“I used to run prospecting tours in the 1990s and did that for three or four years,” he says.

“This idea marks a return to the area for me formally and sprang from a conversation with (Council Tourism manager) Robyn Vella.

“In conjunction with Council, I’m offering a series of one-day intensives on prospecting and a choice of eight day-long field trips.

“I used to run tuition classes over a whole week, but I’ve condensed the material down so that the sessions will be information-rich.

“Council has been very supportive, taking bookings, marketing the courses and using the Loddon Visitor Information Centre as a meeting point.

“What beginners really want to know is, where do I start looking?  How do I pick a spot?”

Michael’s intensives will run on three Saturdays – 19 April, 21 June and 26 July – while his field trips are spread between 18 April and 27 July.

For bookings or more information, please phone the centre on 5494 3489, walk in at 24 Wilson St in Wedderburn or go to www.loddon.vic.gov.au