A Pathway of Remembrance to honour the 35 men who are known to have died during the Eureka Stockade battle has been officially unveiled in the National Heritage-listed Eureka Stockade Memorial Park.
The Eureka Centre Ballarat has partnered with Eureka Australia, an association of Eureka Stockade descendants and supporters, to memorialise the 35 men who are known to have died because of the events which occurred at the Eureka Stockade on 3 December 1854.
Flanked by snow gums and native grasses, the Pathway of Remembrance features 35 plaques honouring those who died, presented along a gravel path that traces a section of the Eureka Lead – an alluvial gold reef that stretches from Miners Rest through to Eureka in Ballarat.
The men are represented by their name and country of birth. Whether defending their rights and liberties or doing their duty, they are honoured, side by side in alphabetical order. The Pathway equally honours all of the men and women who died because of the events at the Eureka Stockade, but whose names are not recorded.
Special guest His Excellency Mr Tim Mawe, Ambassador for the Republic of Ireland to Australia attended the launch.
The Irish Ambassador honoured the 14 Irish – three soldiers and 11 rebels – who died at the storming of the Eureka Stockade. The Eureka area was settled and mined predominately by the Irish. The Irish were the biggest cultural group represented among the protesters at the Eureka Stockade, which included rebel leader Peter Lalor.
The Eureka Stockade is a nation-defining historical event and widely considered to be the birthplace of Australian democracy.
City of Ballarat Mayor, Cr Daniel Moloney said the Pathway of Remembrance provides an opportunity to reflect on the experience, plight and sacrifice of those involved in the events surrounding the Eureka Stockade.
“The actions of those we honour at the Pathway of Remembrance have profoundly informed Australia’s democratic character, and the freedom and rights we enjoy today,” he said.
“It is importantly an opportunity to remember the contribution of immigrants from across the globe whose ingenuity and resilience helped forge the modern Australian nation. We continue to be inspired and guided by their legacy.”
Eureka Australia President, Eric Howard AM said the pathway recognises the courage and sacrifice of those who fell and the legend they created in standing up to tyranny.
“The diggers and military personnel who fell under the Eureka Flag are indeed significant in the history of our country,” he said.
“Their sacrifice led to significant political, economic and social reform in Victoria. The Pathway of Remembrance will help to ensure greater mainstream recognition of their significant actions.”
The Pathway of Remembrance has been supported by diplomatic missions to Australia which have provided plaques to honour their fallen citizens, including the British High Commission, High Commission of Canada, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany and Embassy of the Republic of Ireland. Additional plaques have been funded by the City of Goulburn and Mulwaree (Australia) and Eureka Australia with project funding and delivery by the City of Ballarat.
His Excellency Mr Tim Mawe, Ambassador for the Republic of Ireland to Australia, said the Pathway of Remembrance is an important and tangible expression of the spirit of Eureka.
“I am delighted that Ireland has been able to support the development of the pathway. It is a small contribution to recognise the sacrifice made by the 14 Irishmen and all those who sacrificed their lives for an ideal of democracy in 1854,” he said.
“The pathway is also a reminder to us all that the struggle for democracy continues today and that all of us are on a path that demands that we each do what we can to deliver the ideals of the Eureka fallen.”
The Pathway of Remembrance honours: