Victorian Democracy

Ten thousand Ballarat residents attended a meeting at Bakery Hill on 29 November 1854. Ballarat Reform League representatives John Humffray, George Black and Thomas Kennedy reported on their unsuccessful meeting with Lieutenant Governor Hotham. Though Humffray urged the crowd to use peaceful means to achieve their aims, the mood of the meeting was angry. There were calls to those present to burn their gold licences as an act of defiance.
Eureka Stockade – Historical Collection, PROV, VPRS 5527/P0, unit 4, item 1
Ten thousand Ballarat residents attended a meeting at Bakery Hill on 29 November 1854. Ballarat Reform League representatives John Humffray, George Black and Thomas Kennedy reported on their unsuccessful meeting with Lieutenant Governor Hotham. Though Humffray urged the crowd to use peaceful means to achieve their aims, the mood of the meeting was angry. There were calls to those present to burn their gold licences as an act of defiance. Eureka Stockade – Historical Collection, PROV, VPRS 5527/P0, unit 4, item 1

Victoria was at the forefront of the world-wide democratic government movement. Victoria was the first place in the world where voting was carried out in secret and Victorian women led the world in the movement for equal rights.

Eureka describes the movement for justice and democratic rights that led to bloodshed at the Eureka Stockade in Ballarat in 1854. Key documents, including the Ballarat Reform League Charter and a poster calling for the fateful meeting at Bakery Hill can be found. By viewing original documents (such as the Bakery Hill poster and the Eureka Treason Trial map) you will discover how the gold miners of the 1850s helped to shape Victoria’s democratic future.

The Eureka Trials- 160 Years On

What was the role of the governors? What was the impact of separation from NSW, the introduction of the Secret Ballot, and the Women’s Suffrage movement in Victoria.

Find out more at Public Record Office Victoria.