Eureka Stockade
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Eureka Stockade
CCS3.1 Eureka Stockade scoops for Stage 3
Change and Continuity: Significant events that have shaped Austalia's identity, including the discovery of gold, and colonial exploration and expansion.
Curated by Laura Aurisch
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The Role of Opposition - An address to the Eureka Stockade Memorial Association .

The Role of Opposition - An address to the Eureka Stockade Memorial Association . | Eureka Stockade | Scoop.it

"... while democratic rule has spread around the globe, still many of millions of people struggle for freedom and democracy. I think there is a universal desire amongst all people to live with freedoms – of speech, of religion, of association, freedom from fear, freedom from want."

Laura Aurisch's insight:

 

This site takes a global perspective on democracy, via a talk about the role of Government opposition, acting to balance out excessive authority, such as extortionary taxes or excessive law enforcement. It connects the ideas of Eureka Stockade rebels merely being people who wanted to be heard, and receive response by their Government in regards to their needs.


This site draws attention to the relatively little bloodshed of the Eureka Stockade, compared to the United States who endured a War of Independence and a Civil War. It mentions other democracies, such as the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Japan, and comments that many still strive for freedom and democracy. It contrasts Australia’s democracy to that of Burma. Members of the Opposition in Burma were sent to jail after winning an election. Similar events occurred in Zimbabwe. It mentions the ironic name of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, which has a defective dictatorship that is unresponsive to the needs of the North Korean public.

 

A possible assessment task could involve students researching different types of Government political systems and presenting (poster, slide-show, etc.) a comparison of the democratic system to another style of Government.

 

It advertises Australia's support of other countries through international laws such as the Geneva Conventions, and being a member of organisations such as the United Nations which holds democracy as one of its core values.

Students can research the United Nations website [retrievable from http://www.un.org/en/globalissues/democracy/index.shtml , and report on the purpose of the UN and their involvement in current global democratic issues such as human rights.

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Biography - Peter Lalor - Australian Dictionary of Biography

Biography - Peter Lalor - Australian Dictionary of Biography | Eureka Stockade | Scoop.it
Laura Aurisch's insight:

This site could be used to learn about Peter Lalor, the oath, the Southern Cross and democracy's advantages and disadvantages.

 

Of the thousands who came from overseas bringing with them unique cultures and beliefs, Peter Lalor was chosen to represent the people of the Ballarat gold fields. To learn the significance of Peter Lalor, the Eureka stockade leader and then politician, students should critically analyse his various contributions to Australia's political history.

 

Peter Lalor's biography suggests his prior familial influence for involvement in revolutionary politics combined with his committed personality were factors in his resultant leadership of the Ballarat Reform League committee. His character is defined by his quote 'I would be unworthy of being called a man, …. were I base enough to desert my companions in danger'.

 

The website states Lalor's famous quote “We swear by the Southern Cross to stand truly by each other to defend our rights and liberties”. Students can investigate the meaning behind the significance of the choice of the symbolism of the Southern Cross, which was used in the Eureka flag without the complete Union Jack.

 

Lalor's believed in 'a system of law reform ….[that] will enable the poor man to obtain equal justice with the rich' which resulted in his reappointment by successive parliaments until he resigned in September 1887. Discuss democracy in relation to under-representation of minorities, for example, the Chinese on the gold fields and Lalor's political influence on their lifestyles. Students can then do mind maps, online research and prepare oral presentations or slide shows of the advantages and disadvantages of Democracy.

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Video: Australia's Heritage: National Treasures - Eureka Flag.

Video: Australia's Heritage: National Treasures - Eureka Flag. | Eureka Stockade | Scoop.it
Take a voyage of discovery with Chris Taylor as he reveals the secrets behind a fascinating mix of treasures from Australia’s National Heritage List.
Laura Aurisch's insight:

This video is a great Stage 3 resource because it can be used as a visual and audio tool to introduce students to the Eureka Stockade, through explanation of the Eureka flag and the creation of Australia's democracy.

 

Many conflicting viewpoints exist surrounding different issues of the Eureka stockade, such as the debatable topic of whether Victoria was already on the path to democracy or whether the Eureka Stockade corrected Victoria's political course? The actor states “history tells us they lost the battle. Legend tells us they set Australia on the path to democracy”. Regardless which viewpoint is held, the Eureka Stockade battle caused political change replacing the miner's licence with the miner's right to vote.

This video could be used to lead discussion points such as

how and why societies develop rules/licences/taxes

what is a democracy

the importance of representation

 

After watching the video, a lesson plan may involve students describing what they believe the miners meant by their “their rights and liberties”. This could then be compared to the Ballarat Reform League charter (retrievable from: http://www.ballaratreformleague.org.au/) and current international human rights (retrievable from: http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/index.shtml).

 

The main idea of this site is to initiate the concept of the effect on today's society of the Eureka Stockade legacy of political change and Australia's identity of being a country that promotes a “fair go”.

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Miscarriage of Meaning. An Aboriginal perspective of democracy.

Laura Aurisch's insight:

There is no recorded evidence of direct involvement of Aboriginal people in the Eureka Stockade. However they suffered the injustice of a national democratic system that did not extend to them. Miscarriage of Meaning, by Barbara Nicholson, portrays an Aboriginal perspective on democracy.

 

The poem explains that Aborigines, before invasion, had laws that were created from Dreamtime tradition. Australia's Federation in 1901 denied Aboriginals their own traditions and law and imposed British law upon them. Aboriginals were denied voting rights, ensuring that their voices were not heard in the political system of Australia. These laws blatantly excluded Aborigines. The poet refers to an ancient Greek poet called Solon who made laws preventing a decline in morality of politics; Thucidydes who was a historian who studied politics based on power rather than right; and Socrate, who was a philosopher famous for his work on ethics and logic. All the wisdom of ancient Greek history was ignored by the Australian Government. The resulting suppressive democracy resulted in Aborigines considering democracy a mockery of the word itself.

 

A literacy based lesson plan could include students constructing poems about democracy from Aborigines viewpoint.

 

In relation to the aboriginal exclusion in Australian politics, discuss the question: Where was the rational explanation or morality?

 

Students could explore the influence of ancient Greece democracies on Australia's choice to become democratic.

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Public Record Office Victoria - Archives of the State Government of Victoria

Public Record Office Victoria - Archives of the State Government of Victoria | Eureka Stockade | Scoop.it
Laura Aurisch's insight:

This site contains copies of original letters written by people involved in the events of the Eureka Stockade, such as Lieutenant Governor Hotham's report on “a serious riot and collision at the Ballaarat Gold Field”. As these documents are true historical artefacts, they could be used as background information before asking students to write expositions or perform debates using the different viewpoints of significant people involved in the Eureka Stockade. Perspectives from Lieutenant Governor Hotham, Police (the Native Police Corps and the British Police), Peter Lalor, and miners should be considered.

 

Another activity would involve students interpreting and rewriting the Ballarat Reform League charter in their own words so that they understand the meaning.

 

This site also has links to the Eureka Stockade timeline. A lesson plan may involve mapping the consecutive steps the miners took before accumulating enough frustration to rebel.

 

The site poses questions for consideration, such as:

What was the purpose in forming the Ballarat Reform League?

Why do you think the thirteen prisoners tried for treason were not found guilty?

Why was the meeting on Bakery Hill so significant – what did it represent to both the authorities and to the diggers?

Could the miners have avoided violence in an effort to achieve their objectives?

 

The main purpose of this site is to enable students to differentiate information based on personal perspectives of 'facts'.

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