Lasseter the Man, the Legend, the Gold, by Kathryn England

It is 1930 in Australia and Harold Lasseter has a story to tell. He claims to know of a fabulous gold reef in remote Central Australia. He tells his story convincingly and ignites the passion known as ‘gold fever’ in his listeners.

So begins the story of Lasseter’s reef. Lasseter claimed to have discovered the reef nearly 40 years earlier, and then mapped it with the help of a surveyor. An expedition (funded by establishing a company and selling shares) set off in July 1930, with Lasseter as its guide. They failed to find the reef. Does the reef exist, or is it just a legend?

Lasseter, the man, the legend, the gold by Kathryn England (Omnibus Books, 2003) is in A4 magazine format. It is pitched at upper primary aged readers and comes from the same series as the award-winning ‘Iron in the Blood’ by Alan Tucker. Lasseter, the man, the legend, the gold is rich in information, including abundant artifacts and photographs associated with the journey. Journal entries and letters are included. Analysis of Lasseter’s information suggests that legend outweighs fact, yet there are also those who firmly believe that one day someone will rediscover ‘Lasseter’s reef’. Such is the stuff of legends.

Lasseter the man, the legend, the gold by Kathryn England
Omnibus Books 2003

The Legend of Lasseter's Reef, by Mark Greenwood

In 1887 seventeen year old Harold Lasseter, searching for adventure and fortune, stumbled on a gold reef which would consume him for the rest of his days.

Having drawn himself a map of the reef’s location, Lasseter was forced by need for food and water to leave the reef. Although he visited it a second time, the difficulties of mapping and access of such a remote area meant that it was 30 years before he could get the backing needed for a large expedition to recover the gold.

Unfortunately, that expeditionwas doomed and Lasseter died in the Outback. No other person has ever managed to lcoate the reef.

The Legend of Lasseter’s Reef is the first picture book to be written about Lasseter and his quest. Author Mark Greenwood uses a combination of historical recount, diary extracts, photographs and maps to impart the story and to lend an air of the mystery surrounding Lasseter’s reef.

An excellent read for the young historian or adventure fan, as well as an outstanding classroom or library resource.

The Legend of Lasseter’s Reef, by Mark Greenwood
UWA Press, 2003