When The Diggers Club commenced, one of our first club members was a 92-year-old "RSL Digger", more attached to a rifle than a shovel.
Growing our own uncontaminated food is not a new concern, but one that goes back to the 17th century Diggers in England. The original Diggers, inspired by their founder Gerrard Winstanley, seized public land with the aim of growing food to give away to the poor. Their crime was simply planting vegetables on common land but it was met with a force of troops at the request of land owners.
The first Australian reference to Diggers came in 1853 during the Gold Rush. United in rebellion the Diggers rose up when forced to pay unfair taxes. This sparked the Eureka Stockade, so to be called a Digger was to describe a subversive mate who shared the common cause.
Most Diggers at the mines wore blue shirts; creating the origin of the words 'blue collar worker', but it was the word Digger, with its powerful connection to resistance and loyalty, that carried through to our World War One soldiers.