Eureka Day celebrations a nod to Ballarat’s history

Paula Maki from Meraki Minds with City of Ballarat Mayor, Cr Des Hudson

Paula Maki from Meraki Minds with City of Ballarat Mayor, Cr Des Hudson.

Preparations are underway to mark the 169th anniversary of one of the most significant events in Australian history.

Each year on the 3 December, people gather to mark the anniversary of the attack by Victorian Colonial Military Forces on protesting miners at the 1854 Eureka Stockade uprising.    

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

Under the auspice 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 1-3 December.  

The Eureka Day program begins with the Peter Tobin Oration, a ticketed evening event on Friday 1 December at 6pm. This year’s guest speaker is one of Australia’s most respected and best-known writers, Thomas Keneally AO. In his talk, Thomas will position the uprising at Eureka as the last of the great European revolutions of 1848, which, despite their failure, altered the future of humankind.  

On Sunday 3 December at 8am, a Eureka Day Commemorative Service will be held at the Eureka Centre’s auditorium to remember those who died at the Eureka Stockade. A complimentary breakfast will follow the service, with the Eureka Sunday Community Day beginning at 10am.

City of Ballarat Mayor, Cr Des Hudson said it was vital that the Eureka Stockade was never forgotten.

“Eureka Sunday is an annual tradition which provides 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,” he said.

“There will be family friendly activities on the day, including kid’s craft activities, facepainting, talks and live music.”

Academic researchers from the Australian National University and Federation University will reflect on new approaches to using art and museum objects in civic education in a panel discussion, ‘Difficult Objects: museums, cultural mediation and deliberative democracy’ at 11am.  

From 12.30pm the park will come alive with music featuring Ballarat’s own, Meraki Minds and award-winning songwriter Coda Chroma (aka Kate Lucas), performing in the Eureka Stockade Memorial Gardens.

The nearby Eureka Pool will also host its Eureka Sunday Pool Party to mark the start of the outdoor pool season, with free entry from 8am-7pm, pending capacity limits.

To read more about the weekend’s full schedule of events, please visit the Eureka Centre website.