December 11, 2013  |  Members Statements

Eureka Rebellion Anniversary

Mr HOWARD (Ballarat East)— To quote:

We swear by the Southern Cross to stand truly by each other and fight to defend our rights and liberties.

The Eureka rebellion led by Peter Lalor was a short-lived revolt which resulted in the brutal deaths of 34 diggers. This, however, led to a major public outcry which brought about significant advances in the democratic rights of Victorians and set the backdrop for the robust, inclusive democracy which we enjoy across Australia today.

The original Eureka flag, first raised on Bakery Hill and then flown over the Eureka Stockade during the bloody battle in the early morning of 3 December 1854, is now proudly displayed at the new Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka (MADE). Thanks to the provision of $5 million by the Bracks government, matched by a further $5 million from the then federal Labor government, the new Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka provides an important focal point to help all visitors reflect on the significance of the Eureka events.

I was pleased to be able to attend several events at MADE and at other sites around Ballarat last week to commemorate the 159th anniversary of the Eureka massacre. Events held included a dawn ceremony and a breakfast where we heard from Adrian Millane of Nambour, who discovered a small piece of the Eureka flag amongst his family possessions. A ‘Eurekapedia’ website was also launched to provide a Wikipedia-type website where viewers can gain and share information relating to many aspects of Eureka, and in the evening Andrew Leigh, the federal member for Fisher, gave a Eureka oration.