In its heyday, Hill End and Tambaroora’s population was an incredibly diverse one. There was a wonderful collection of people from all nationalities. To all intents and purposes, they seemed to mix reasonably well, with just the occasional adverse interaction.
As well as people born in Australia, when browsing the list of births showing the native place of parents there are people from Austria, Canada, Chile, Dalmatia, Denmark, England, China, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Guernsey, Holland, Hong Kong, India, Ionian Islands, Ireland, Isle of Man, Isle of Wight, Macao, Montenegro, Nassau, New Zealand, Norfolk Island, Norway, Nova Scotia, Penang, Poland, Portugal, Prussia, Russia, Scotland, Slavonia, South Africa, Spain, Sumatra, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States of America.
When looking at the crowd scenes in the Holtermann photographs there is evidence of very mixed races, and all statures and skin colours. Even the clothing worn can sometimes indicate a national affiliation.
Harry Hodge, in his “Hill End Story” volume 1 devotes an entire chapter to the countries of origins of the early settlers and their interactions. For further information on select groups see the following which all include a list of family names associated with that nationality:
Unfortunately, in the early years, there were incidents reported in the newspapers of unrest with the Chinese population as a race (mainly due to their unfamiliar cultural activities). Differences were generally worked out and petitions expressing the concern of other inhabitants were presented to the Governor General. The Irish were also, at times, considered as being troublemakers, especially if alcohol was involved.
It appears that people of particular nationalities also seemed to congregate together in one geographical location. Germantown, Irishtown, and Greektown, were known localities and small neighbourhoods of English, Cornish, Scottish, and other nationalities were scattered throughout the town.
For a small district, the presence of more than 40 nationalities, who were, for all intents and purposes, managing to live in reasonable harmony, is an achievement that any town would be proud to claim today.