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In late 1949 Jon Cadwallader inherits a rich gold mine in Western Australia, but he wants to preserve the land and the Dreaming from a gold rush. Chips Carpenter's quest for a lost gold reef threatens the plan. Jon's life is further complicated by his friendship with Val, a fellow Pom, and Alice Macarthur's resentful nephew, Greg. A spell in the goldfields provides the cover Jon needs for his new wealth, and his future finally looks assured, but news from England turns his world upside down. Soon afterwards the fallout from a political decision made by the British and Australian Governments affects him, and others, setting in motion a chain of events that ultimately requires him to re-evaluate his feelings towards those closest to him.