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  • Ballarat is a city located on the Yarrowee River and lower western plains of the Great Dividing Range in the state of Victoria, Australia, approximately 105 kilometres west-north-west of the state capital, Melbourne. It is the third most populous urban area in the state, with a population of 85,935 It is the state's most populated inland settlement, and fifth most populated inland settlement in Australia. People from Ballarat are referred to as Ballaratians or Ballafornians. The City of Ballarat local government area encompasses both the Greater Ballarat urban area and outlying towns with an area of 740 square kilometres and has an urban area population of 93,501. Ballarat is its most populous urban centre, seat of local government and administrative centre. It was named by Scottish squatter Archibald Yuille who established the first settlement—his sheep run called Ballaarat—in 1837, with the name derived from local Wathaurong Aboriginal words for the area, balla arat, thought to mean "resting place". The present spelling was officially adopted by the City of Ballarat in 1996. It is one of the most significant Victorian era boomtowns in Australia. Just months after Victoria was granted separation from New South Wales, the Victorian gold rush transformed Ballarat from a small sheep station to a major settlement. Gold was discovered at Poverty Point on 18 August 1851 and news quickly spread of rich alluvial fields where gold could easily be extracted. Within months, approximately 20,000 migrants had rushed the district. Several Australian mining innovations were made at the Ballarat diggings including the first use of a Chilean mill in 1851 and the first use of a mine cage in 1861. Unlike many other gold rush boom towns, the Ballarat fields experienced sustained high gold yields for decades. Wikipedia

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