Our second session took up again the concept of “revolution” in the colonies. We revised the Vinegar Hill Convict revolt in 1804 in NSW and the Rum Rebellion when officers of the NSW Corps deposed Governor Bligh in 1808. Both were quite different types of revolts and both were put down by the Colonial administrators.
What of Eureka in Victoria in 1854? We were helped by two useful film productions: an account of the actual Stockade incident in which S.T. Gill watercolours gave us a good impression of conditions on the Ballarat goldfields; and more importantly a film produced by the ABC of the trial for treason of 13 prisoners taken by the soldiers. This explained the little known strategies of the defence lawyers to win the case and have all declared not guilty. Within two years several of these men were elected to the Victorian parliament and helped introduce full voting rights for all men in the colony including Aborigines. The predominance of Irish settlers was noted in these events and will be continued with an examination of the Kelly outbreak in Victoria in the 1870s.