Eureka: The Unfinished Revolution
By Peter FitzSimons
Eureka: The Unfinished Revolution
Published By : William Heinemann, North Sydney, N.S.W. Australia, 2012
The trouble with the Eureka story is that it is very involved and complex. As Education officers at Sovereign Hill, we well know how difficult it is to maintain the interest of an audience when we try to explain the details leading to the bloody storming of the stockade. There are so many important twists and turns that the story teller often falls in a repeating pattern of “and then …. and then… and then…”
Not so Peter FitzSimons in his recent book Eureka: The Unfinished Revolution. Continue reading
Was the Government too slow to react? Did they have the time?
Gill, S.T. – High Degree- Ballarat Gold Museum Collection
Many People believe that the problems with Government and licence fees began after all the easy gold was taken, and diggers were forced to take longer to find gold. This makes sense, why would anyone be upset with paying a licence fee if they are pretty sure of getting rich quick? The National Library of Australia has set up TROVE, a free digitised search service, so you can research their extensive archive of old newspapers and magazines. A quick read through some of the newspapers around in the first year of the Victorian Gold rushes, shows that many people were already angry about paying a fee, why?
Header from the Melbourne Argus-August 14th 1851
TROVE can be a lot of fun too. I already mentioned the Newspapers, but there are also digital copies of old magazines, maps, photos and much more. You can even edit articles that the computer didn’t read properly.
Early Problems with the licence system
Do you like paying out good money and receiving nothing in return? Well neither did the people of Victoria in the 1850s, and they made their feelings known through the newspapers. Continue reading
SBS Documentary Dirty Business - Learning about Mining in Australia’s past and present
Two episodes of the three-part series Dirty Business: How mining made Australia have screened on SBS, with the last instalment on this Sunday 20th. This documentary provides an engaging examination of the interconnected history of mining and Australia’s development as a nation. It places in context the impact of the gold rush(es) and explores the differences between 19th century and 20th/21st century mining. We highly recommend watching it these holidays.
How to find and piece together the events that led to the Eureka Stockade
Earlier this year we wrote about our Eureka Day celebrations where students relived some of the events that led up to the stockade. Not all students have the opportunity to participate in an event such as this and so we wanted to share with students and teachers some other resources for finding out more about the Eureka rebellion and consider what caused the Eureka Stockade.
So what did cause the Eureka Stockade?
The Night We Made the Flag: A Eureka Story
The Night We Made the Flag by author Carole Wilkinson is a historically based story about the night the Eureka flag was made on the Ballarat goldfields. It is beautifully illustrated by Sebastian Ciaffaglone. The book has lovely end covers depicting the Southern Cross in the night sky, like the constellation that inspired the design of the flag.
Students relive historical events and discover what caused the Eureka Stockade
The Eureka Stockade is a key event in Australia’s history and, arguably, the only civil battle on our soil. It is seen by most as a key step on our path towards democracy and nearly all Victorian students study the cause and effect of the Eureka Stockade in History lessons. There is a complex chronology of events that led to the storming of the Stockade, and these can be viewed in the global context of the Chartist movement. Understanding the context, motives and emotions involved can be difficult.
Here at Sovereign Hill we want to commemorate the event with students by allowing them to engage with this historical story in a meaningful, accessible and memorable way. Late last year we developed a participatory reenactment experience for the students on the eve of the 157th anniversary.
Today, 11/11/11, is an important day for many reasons. One of those being that it was on this day in 1854 that the Ballaarat Reform League was officially born and their Charter publically adopted. This group played a significant role in the events that became the precursors to the Eureka Stockade.
Often the League is forgotten in the wake of the much more dramatic Stockade, but their presence and intended purpose is very important. Those who formed the League took their inspiration from the British Chartist movement, which some had been directly involved in before coming to Victoria. The Chartist movement was a step by the new working-class, born out of the Industrial Revolution, to improve their rights and representation.