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Refighting the Eureka Stockade: managing and marketing the heritage of a dissonant battlefield
journal contributionposted on 2017-06-06, 01:57 authored by Warwick Frost
On December 3 1854 British troops attacked a group of rebellious miners at a rudimentary stockade on the Ballarat goldfield in Australia. The battle only lasted 15 minutes, but its meaning and significance have been vigorously debated for 150 years. The various interpretations of the Eureka Stockade include it as the birthplace of Australian democracy, a catalyst for republicanism and radicalism, or as minor bourgeois tax revolt. Similarly the Eureka Flag (the Southern Cross) has excited various and conflicting passions. This paper examines the dissonant, contested and fragmentary nature of the main tourist developments associated with the Eureka Stockade. These include the Eureka Stockade Centre (which aims to provide a 'non-political' interpretation); the Ballarat Fine Art Gallery (which holds the Eureka Flag); the use of Eureka for destination branding of Ballarat and the conflicting interpretations conveyed in the recent 150th Anniversary Festival.