Weekend fires up to remember historic 168th Eureka Stockade

Preparations are well underway to mark the 168th anniversary of one of the most significant events in not only Ballarat’s history, but nationally. 

Each year on December 3 people gather to mark the anniversary of the attack by Victorian Colonial Military Forces on protesting miners at the Eureka Stockade.  

Known as Eureka Day, this occasion has a long commemorative history, being remembered across Australia, and especially in Ballarat. 

Under the guidance of the City of Ballarat, a program of events will be presented at the Eureka Centre to mark the anniversary. To encourage community involvement, entry fees to the Eureka Centre will be removed from 2-4 December. 

The Eureka Day program begins with the Peter Tobin Oration, a ticketed evening event honouring the contribution of the late Peter Tobin OAM to the commemoration of the Eureka Stockade. This year’s guest speaker will be journalism scholar, Dr. Josie Vine speaking about the role of journalism in the events surrounding the Eureka Stockade. Dr Vines will highlight the story of Australia’s first woman newspaper editor, Clara Seekamp.

City of Ballarat Mayor, Des Hudson will lead the commemorative service on the Saturday in remembering those who died at the Eureka Stockade.  

“This is truly one of Australia’s most iconic historic moments and Saturday’s commemorative morning service held in the Eureka Centre auditorium is to honour those who died and were involved in the 1854 Eureka Stockade,” Cr Hudson said. 

“The Eureka Stockade is of undeniable national importance, but it is also one of Ballarat’s foundation stories, one that has deep roots in our culture. 

“Following the formalities of Saturday’s commemorative service, Sunday is the traditional Eureka Community Day with an opportunity for people of all ages to learn about and reflect on the Eureka legacy and come together as a community whose identity is forged by this great historical event.  

“Activities will include live music featuring Ballarat’s own, The Dead Salesmen and award-winning sister-duo Charm of Finches, performing live in the Eureka Stockade Memorial Gardens from 12pm. There are also a host of children’s workshops and talks as well as the opportunity to meet descendants of key Eureka figures, hear myths and facts about the Eureka flag, get your face painted or make your own Eureka badge and more.

“Lilly’s Café will be open serving speciality coffee and delicious food, so it really is a great day of remembrance and acknowledgment of our heritage. I would encourage everyone to get along and support the Eureka Centre and engage with this incredible part of our history.”

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