Landmark of Australian democracy

A $4.2 million Centre celebrating one of the most significant events in Australia's history was opened earlier this year. The Eureka Stockade Centre, developed by the City of Ballarat, portrays the events which led to the historic uprising which pitched miners in an armed struggle against colonial authorities.

Though many died and others were tried for treason their efforts later translated into the establishment of democratic government in Australia. The actual location of the battle is uncertain but the Centre has been sited within the precinct where the battle and its aftermath are known to have taken place.

At the entrance, a striking 53 metre flagpole bears a giant representation of the Southern Cross flag, symbol of the miners' struggle. This is also designed to simulate the sails used to ventilate the deep shafts in which miners operated and was funded by the Commonwealth Government.

The new Centre features major exhibition space and includes a 'contemplation well' symbolising the deep shafts where conditions contributed to the miners' rebellion. A series of displays using multimedia technology bring the Eureka story alive.

An auditorium screens films depicting stories of the flag and the battle. The new facility complements the popular tourist attraction of Sovereign Hill which for a quarter of a century has been offering visitors an insight into the way of life on the rich Ballarat goldfields last century.

Funding for the Centre was raised through a Community Support Fund, a public subscription underwritten by the City of Ballarat and direct contribution from Council of $750,000.

Since its opening in March, approximately 35,000 people have passed through the doors. The Centre aims to host 80,000 visitors a year.

For further information contact Tom Smith, Tourism Development Officer, telephone (03) 5320 5673.