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Ballarat Reform League Inc. Monument at Beechworth
Detail of the Ballarat Reform League Inc. Monument at Beechworth

Goldfields Agitation at Beechworth

The first demand for political representation in the Victorian Legislative Council was made at a public meeting at Madman's Gully, Beechworth on 02 April 1853. The underlying conflict about injustice and civil liberties continued on the Victorian goldfields and culminated tragically in the Eureka Rebellion of 1854 in Ballarat.

Diggers must have a voice in the Council, if you will only combine together, hold meetings such as the present, express your will in a firm and determined manner, you will accomplish your objects and obtain your rights; there is no need of force and of arms; for reason, mind, intelligence, are all-sufficient for the attainment of your rights. I trust this is not the last meeting that will assemble here, and that diggers will never rest till fairly represented in the Council.[1]
Do you know what the word representation means? Of course you do! It means that of those who by wealth, or station, or authority, are placed over you, do wrong, you have the power of compelling them to do right. At present you have no such power ... This should not be. [2]

Eureka Stockaders who settled at Beechworth

Chiltern historian W.C. Busse references a number of Eureka refuges who made their way to the Beachworth-Chiltern area.

John Brewer

Henry Glenny

Henry Kneebone

Also See


Ballarat Reform League Inc. Monuments Project

George Black


John Owens


  1. George Black, Chartist and later found member of the Ballarat Reform League, The Argus, 08 April 1853.
  2. Dr J.D. Owens, Diggers' representative, Reeds Creek Petition.