Future mineral exploration within eastern Australia will be enhanced by resolving the tectonic evolution of the Lachlan Orogen to establish the spatial and temporal terrane distribution of the various mineral deposits. The Lachlan Orogen, from north-eastern Tasmania through to central and eastern New South Wales, is host to a number of major mineral deposit styles-including orogenic gold (e.g. Stawell, Ballarat, Bendigo), volcanic-hosted massive sulphide (e.g. Woodlawn, Currawong), sediment-hosted Cu-Au (e.g. Cobar Basin deposits), porphyry Au-Cu (e.g. Cadia, Parkes, Cowal) and granite-related Sn (e.g. Ardlethan, Beechworth). Each of these mineral deposit styles is a sensitive and diagnostic indicator of the prevalent tectonic environment during their formation. In this review, we briefly summarise the deposit- to large-scale factors that define the diverse metallogenic evolution of the Lachlan Orogen. This overview is intended to "set the scene" for subsequent specialist papers published in this thematic issue on the metallogeny and tectonics of the Lachlan Orogen in south-east Australia.