All Australians have heard of the Eureka
Stockade or, at least, of the word 'Eureka'. Fly a Rebel Flag: The Eureka Stockade turns this part of Australian history into a living, exciting (but
still true) story.
People don't always like to be told what
to do, especially when it's unfair. That's what happened when the gold miners
in Victoria were forced to buy gold licences, even when they had no money. The
miners ('diggers') challenged the police, and government representatives
retaliated. This eventually resulted in a bloody battle that lasted only twenty
minutes but was pivotal in the development of democracy in Australia.
This book was shortlisted for the 2004 NSW Premier's Young People's History Prize.
Robyn used to think history was boring
until, working on an archaeological dig in Melbourne, she discovered history under
her fingernails. She dug up a husband there too. Now they live with their
12-year-old daughter in a country town with too many cafes. Robyn thinks
'housework' is a dirty word; her hobby is collecting dust. She has written
three books for adults. Fly a Rebel Flag is her first book for children.
Source: Black Dog Books (used with permission)
Before reading the book
- After looking at the cover - title,
subtitle, picture (front and back) - and using your prior knowledge of the
Eureka story, complete the first column in the KWL Chart, 'What I Know'.
Why do you think the subtitle was changed from 'The Battle at Eureka' in the original publication (2004) to 'The Eureka Stockade'?
- Robyn Annear, the author, hardly knew
anything about Eureka before she began researching. Read the Introduction.
What did she know before and after her research?
- The three questions on the back cover ask
if the Eureka Stockade was a blow for democracy, a glorious rebellion or
just a massacre. What do you think?
- What do you need to know from the book to
help you answer the three questions on the back cover more fully? Complete
the second column of the KWL Chart, 'What I want to learn'.
- After flicking through the book, what
parts of the book do you notice are factual, and what parts are 'faction'
(fiction based on fact)?
During and after reading the book
- Discover information from the book about
whether the Eureka Stockade helped to bring about democracy in Australia, if it was a glorious rebellion or if it was just a massacre. Complete your KWL Chart as you read.
- What caused the Eureka Stockade to
happen? What could have prevented it?
- What effect did immigration have on the
- Why was the Eureka flag - the Southern
Cross - important during the Eureka Stockade? What is the flag's status
- How is the Eureka story similar to the
Ned Kelly story?
- How is this part of Australia's history presented here? Sympathetically or critically? Explain.
- How is the Eureka story important to