Eureka Stockade:Flashers, femmes and other forgotten figures of the Eureka Stockade

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Eureka Stockade:Flashers, femmes and other forgotten figures of the Eureka Stockade is associated with ballarat located at these coordinates -37.5636495, 143.8671868


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When I was at primary school in the late 1970s, engaging kids in history lessons meant a good dose of role-play. Each year, on today’s date, it was time to re-enact the Eureka Stockade.

It was on this day in 1854 that Ballarat’s aggrieved mining community – protesting a host of local and constitutional injustices, including what they saw as an unfair tax system – was attacked before dawn by government forces while sheltering behind a rough palisade. At least 30 miners and four soldiers died in what is commemorated every year on December 3 as Australia’s only act of armed civil disobedience by white Australians.

The event has since become a key foundation stone in the story of Australian nation-building.

At my school, we remembered the occasion like this: half of the class got to be the miners. The other half was the soldiers. One very blessed boy was picked to be Peter Lalor, the activist-turned-politician who led the Eureka rebellion.

We pointed our imaginary guns at each other across the room — a barricade of extruded plastic chairs between us — and shot to the death. More miners got to fall to the floor in wounded agony than soldiers. Lucky Peter Lalor had his arm blown off. The lesson was that the gold diggers lost the battle but won the war. They fought for our rights and freedoms.

It was boring and dumb and nobody much cared; least of all the girls who found limited joy in the bang-bang-you’re-dead gun play.



   Clare Wright
   Honorary Research Fellow at La Trobe University

Record Citation: Series VPRS 12970

Hayes Family Photographs

Record URL: http://access.prov.vic.gov.au/public/component/daPublicBaseContainer?component=daViewUnit&breadcrumbPath=Home/Access%20the%20Collection/Browse%20The%20Collection/Unit%20Details&entityId=7006403521
Agency: Agency VA 4398

Hayes Family

Agency URL: http://access.prov.vic.gov.au/public/component/daPublicBaseContainer?component=daViewAgency&breadcrumbPath=Home/Access%20the%20Collection/Browse%20The%20Collection/Agency%20Details&entityId=4398
Date: 3 December 1854
Record Type:
Event Type: Rebellion
Language: en
Copyright URL: “Read the full article on The Conversation”: http://theconversation.com/flashers-femmes-and-other-forgotten-figures-of-the-eureka-stockade-20939. To republish this wiki page please contact the author and also follow these guidelines provided by The Conversation http://theconversation.com/flashers-femmes-and-other-forgotten-figures-of-the-eureka-stockade-20939#republishURIs of the form "“Read the full article on The Conversation”: http://theconversation.com/flashers-femmes-and-other-forgotten-figures-of-the-eureka-stockade-20939. To republish this wiki page please contact the author and also follow these guidelines provided by The Conversation http://theconversation.com/flashers-femmes-and-other-forgotten-figures-of-the-eureka-stockade-20939#republish" are not allowed.
Related Resource URL: https://public-record-office-victoria.culturalspot.org/exhibit/eureka-on-trial/-QJCUdqSRYv-JA
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User Tags: eureka, ballarat, women, education, rebellion, stockade, herstory, feminism, mythology




Image Transcript Margin Notes Body of Transcript
Xw5r754f-1385958681.jpg At my school, we remembered the occasion like this: half of the class got to be the miners. The other half was the soldiers. One very blessed boy was picked to be Peter Lalor, the activist-turned-politician who led the Eureka rebellion.

We pointed our imaginary guns at each other across the room — a barricade of extruded plastic chairs between us — and shot to the death. More miners got to fall to the floor in wounded agony than soldiers. Lucky Peter Lalor had his arm blown off. The lesson was that the gold diggers lost the battle but won the war. They fought for our rights and freedoms.

It was boring and dumb and nobody much cared; least of all the girls who found limited joy in the bang-bang-you’re-dead gun play.

Men, women and children were among the gold diggers who rebelled on this day in 1854. S. T. Gill, 1954


Image Transcript Margin Notes Body of Transcript
Cws9yd39-1385957339.jpg By high school, we’d dropped the charades but the compulsory curriculum unit on Eureka and the gold rush was hardly more thrilling. Now phrases such as “birth of democracy”, “manhood suffrage” and “no taxation without representation” came attached to the morality tale. The brave men of Eureka took a stand against tyranny and died in defence of liberty. Is it lunchtime yet?

Statistics show that the optional study of Australian history is in decline. Is that because there are too few role models in the standard telling of history for us to identify with?

In the storyboarding of Australian history, too often there have been lead parts for men, but no leading ladies.

But far from being source of the problem, could the Eureka Stockade in fact be key to the solution?

The Eureka Stockade battlefield-Red Hill AAP Image/MediaWise Pty Ltd


Image Transcript Margin Notes Body of Transcript
Qxkc5g6y-1385959396.jpg Beyond the boys-own mythology

Recent research has revealed that the Eureka legend has short-changed the true richness and complexity of the event itself. Stripped of its (white, Anglo) boys-own mythology, Eureka stands as a rip-roaring tale of drama, intrigue and extraordinary characters.

In the book Black Gold, for instance, Ballarat historian Fred Cahir has documented the ingenuity and economic opportunism of the Wauthurung people when faced with the tidal wave of goldseekers to their country around Ballarat in the early 1850s.

My book The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka,reveals in all their vitality and diversity, the remarkably unbiddable women of Ballarat.

The truth is that when the British soldiers stormed the flimsy citadel on Sunday December 3 in 1854, they knowingly fired on a civilian population that included women and children.

The Victorian goldfields were not simply an isolated frontier populated by rugged men hell-bent on making a quick buck. By the end of 1854, a third of the Ballarat community was women and children.

At least one woman was killed in the Stockade clash, “mercilessly butchered by a mounted trooper” as eye-witness Charles Evans recorded in his diary on December 4, 1854. How my primary school buddies would have peed their pants with excitement to play her part!

Or the part of Englishwoman Ellen Young, the self-proclaimed “Ballarat poetess”, who gave voice to the collective grievance of her community by publishing politically charged poetry and fiery letters to the editor in The Ballarat Times.

“We, the people,” she fumed, “demand cheap land, just magistrates, to be represented in the Legislative Council, in fact treated as the free subjects of a great nation”.

Or Clara Seekamp, an Irish single mother of three who became the de-facto wife of Henry Seekamp, editor of The Ballarat Times. Together, they ran the profitable printing and publishing business until Henry was jailed for sedition after the Stockade, making Clara Australia’s first female newspaper editor.

Clara continued to fire off blistering editorials, prompting one startled Melbourne journalist to fret over “the dangerous influence of a free press petticoat government”.

Anastasia Hayes, believed to have helped sew the Southern Cross flag that became the rebels' emblem. Public Record Office Victoria, Hayes Family Photographs, VPRS 12970


Image Transcript Margin Notes Body of Transcript
3hgftpvr-1385958436.jpg Or Sarah Hanmer, the Scots-Irish entrepreneur and activist who ran Ballarat’s Adelphi Theatre, which acted as the headquarters of the group driving the push for constitutional change, the Ballarat Reform League.

hen there was Catherine McLister, wife of a British policeman living at Ballarat’s Government Camp, who laid a sexual harassment case against Police Inspector Gordon Evans only weeks before the Stockade clash. (Evans, according to McLister’s sworn testimony, trapped her in his room, put his arm around her waist, dropped his drawers to “expose his person” and said, “Look at this”.)

There was also Lady Jane Hotham, the high-spirited new bride who accompanied her husband, the Governor of Victoria, to the colonies and left again less than a year later as a widow.

I’d put my hand up to play publican Catherine Bentley, tried for the murder of miner James Scobie who was killed outside the Eureka Hotel.

Catherine lost everything when rioting miners (including women) burned her hotel to the ground. Pregnant at the time, and with a toddler, she was forced to jump from the second floor of the flaming pub into the arms of the same crowd that was baying for the Bentleys’ blood. She later hounded the government for compensation for the destruction of her home and business to the tune of 30,00030,000 £
2,250,000 £approx2009
4,560,000 $AUDapprox2009
600,000 shillings
7,200,000 pence
pounds.

Sarah Hanmer. Lorraine Brownlie


Image Transcript Margin Notes Body of Transcript
Vf6twkcz-1385957100.jpg A story for all Australians

The fact that none of these women’s names is as familiar to us as that of Peter Lalor points to the inherent gender bias of Australian nationalism.

In fact, men and women from many lands stood together beneath a new flag. The flag bore the symbol of the constellation that located and united them in their new home — the Southern Cross. That flag was almost certainly sewn by the women of Ballarat.

Under that flag, the men of the Ballarat Reform League swore an oath to stand truly each with other and fight to defend their rights and liberties. Women were at that meeting too. At the time, they called the flag “the Australian Flag”.

This is not fiction and there is no need to invent parts or script lines. We all belong to this story. For, as The Ballarat Times' Clara Seekamp wrote in one of her “dangerous” editorials:

What is this country else but Australia? Is it any more England than it is Ireland or Scotland, France or America, Italy or Germany? … The latest immigrant is the youngest Australian.

Happy Eureka Day.

The Eureka flag AAP Image/MediaWise Pty Ltd
Facts about "Eureka Stockade:Flashers, femmes and other forgotten figures of the Eureka Stockade"RDF feed
Has agency urlhttp://access.prov.vic.gov.au/public/component/daPublicBaseContainer?component=daViewAgency&breadcrumbPath=Home/Access%20the%20Collection/Browse%20The%20Collection/Agency%20Details&entityId=4398 +
Has british pounds 1830-191430,000 £ (2,250,000 £approx2009, 4,560,000 $AUDapprox2009, 600,000 shillings, 7,200,000 pence) +Purchasing Power
Has category nameEureka on Trial +
Has coordinates37° 33' 49" S, 143° 52' 2" ELatitude: -37.5636495
Longitude: 143.8671868
+Google maps
Has date3 December 1854 +
Has event typeRebellion +
Has form nameTranscribed Record Form +
Has imagehttp://wiki.prov.vic.gov.au/images/f/f8/Xw5r754f-1385958681.jpg +, http://wiki.prov.vic.gov.au/images/e/e2/Cws9yd39-1385957339.jpg +, http://wiki.prov.vic.gov.au/images/9/95/Qxkc5g6y-1385959396.jpg +, http://wiki.prov.vic.gov.au/images/3/3d/3hgftpvr-1385958436.jpg + and http://wiki.prov.vic.gov.au/images/a/ab/Vf6twkcz-1385957100.jpg +
Has image captionMen, women and children were among the gold diggers who rebelled on this day in 1854. S. T. Gill, 1954 +, The Eureka Stockade battlefield-Red Hill AAP Image/MediaWise Pty Ltd +, Anastasia Hayes, believed to have helped sew the Southern Cross flag that became the rebels' emblem. Public Record Office Victoria, Hayes Family Photographs, VPRS 12970 +, Sarah Hanmer. Lorraine Brownlie + and The Eureka flag AAP Image/MediaWise Pty Ltd +
Has keywordseureka +, ballarat +, women +, education +, rebellion +, stockade +, herstory +, feminism + and mythology +
Has languageen +
Has person namePeter Lalor +
Has record agencyAgency VA 4398 Hayes Family +
Has record citationSeries VPRS 12970 Hayes Family Photographs +
Has record urlhttp://access.prov.vic.gov.au/public/component/daPublicBaseContainer?component=daViewUnit&breadcrumbPath=Home/Access%20the%20Collection/Browse%20The%20Collection/Unit%20Details&entityId=7006403521 +
Has related resourcehttps://public-record-office-victoria.culturalspot.org/exhibit/eureka-on-trial/-QJCUdqSRYv-JA + and http://theconversation.com/flashers-femmes-and-other-forgotten-figures-of-the-eureka-stockade-20939 +
Has rights
Latitude-37.564 +
Located inballarat +
Longitude143.867 +
Page has default formThis property is a special property in this wiki.Transcribed Record Form +
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