This 2004 Eureka Stockade piece was issued to commemorate 150 years since the Eureka Stockade in the Victorian Goldfields.
During the mid 19th century the Victorian Goldfields rapidly expanded with migration predominately from Britain and China. These migrants sought their fortune panning or digging for gold around Bendigo and Ballarat. In 1854 Charles Hotham became governor of Victoria and began to implement stricter control over the area including enforcing weekly mining license checks. Issues surrounding licensing, police corruption, and voting rights increasingly angered the miners. On the 29th and 30th of November a large meeting of miners in Ballarat burnt their mining licenses and while displaying the Southern Cross Flag marched to the large mine Eureka diggings where a stockade was constructed. Around 500 diggers garrisoned themselves in the stockade, gathering weapons and wearing an oath to the Southern Cross Flag.
On the 3rd of December the 12th and 40th Regiments of the Victorian Government coupled with the local police force stormed the blockade. The diggers were heavily outnumbered and were defeated with twenty-two miners and five government troops dead. In 1855 a report on the Gold Fields was handed down and the government met the demands made by the diggers. The Eureka stockade is often regarded as a vital step in the development of Australian democracy. (Australian Government, 2010)
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