Christmas in Sovereign Hill

Hold on to your silly Santa hats, your goofy reindeer antlers and your tiny elf outfit, because we’re taking taking a trip down memory lane to explore what Christmas looked like for CGLLEN staff in 1851.

The day started with a secret Kris Kringle exchange, in which the staff all exchanged gifts and ticked a few things of our Christmas lists. Christmas poppers, daggy jokes, and paper crowns were all enjoyed alongside all of our small gifts for one another. After the exchange, we all hopped in the car and made our way to Sovereign Hill in Ballarat.

To really get in the spirit of things, our Social Media Officer, Jasmine, wore reindeer antlers, with jingle bells attached for the entire day. For a short moment the antlers were removed as we got donned in gay apparel which our ancestors might have worn in the 1850s. We were addressed as ma’am and sirs, and we felt rather extravagant.


Don’t recognise us in our old-fashioned ensembles? From the top row left to right, meet Ma’ams Sarah  (Youth Project Officer Engage! and L2P Coordinator), Jasmine (Social Media Officer), Mel (Program Manager), and Georgia (Intern).

Below are Sir James (Executive Officer), Ma’ams Elizabeth (Administrative Officer) and Bree (Youth Project Officer, L2P Coordinator) and Brendan (Youth Project Officer, FReeZA, Engage! and L2P Coordinator).

Although we did enjoy the vintage clothing, we returned to our modern day threads and explored the rest of what Sovereign Hill had to offer on this mild summer day. We first explored a genuine mine 65 feet underground and learnt about how gold was extracted from quartz.

From there we went on to a gold-pouring demonstration in which a gold bar worth $160,000 was heated to 1600 degrees Celcius, and poured into a mold. We were fortunate enough to hold the gold. It was about the size of a mobile phone, and extremely dense, weighing about three kilos. After which we had the opportunity to weigh ourselves, and discover our own weight in gold! Some of CGLLEN’s staff members were worth over 2.5 million Australian dollars.

Other parts of the day included eating scones with tea, dipping candles into colour waxes and exploring the Hill’s renowned lolly shops.

The staff of Central Grampians LLEN would like to pass on best wishes for 2017.