The 2003 Eureka Dawn Walk logo, 21 November 2003

Remembering Courage
in the Face of Tyranny

The 2003 Eureka Dawn Walk will assemble

from 3.30 am on Sunday 7 December 2003
in Alfred Deakin Place, Camp Street, (behind the Mining Exchange)
Ballarat, Victoria, Australia

It will be sixth annual Dawn Walk and like previous years it will be an artful, lantern-lit, story telling procession that will follow the 3.5 km route the British soldiers took on their dawn attack on the diggers' stockade on the Eureka gold field on Sunday 3 December 1854.

Like previous years it will be a meditation on courage in the face of tyranny and a deeply moving remembrance of the blood sacrifice which lit the bonfires of reform that established liberal democracy in Australia.

Unlike previous years it will be produced independently of the Ballarat City Council. It will also be a public liability insurance free event. For background information on this evolution, see the correspondence with Ballarat City Council.

Master lantern maker, Graeme Dunstan, has had a lantern making workshop in operation for the 2003 Dawn Walk in Ballarat since Monday 24 November 2003, in the Grainery Lane Theatre, 34 Doveton Street North, Ballarat. Such an amazing vorticy of creative expression, Graeme is honoured to be hosted here and suported by the generosity of the young people who work to make Grainery Lane a place of creativity and kindness.

Graeme will need hands on help producing the Walk on Sunday 3 December. People wanting to assist with can contact him by email

May the spirit of Eureka refresh and renew our spirits.

For liberty and courage in the face of tyranny in these times.

Graeme Dunstan, Eureka rouge at the Eureka Memorial, 3 December 2003

Media Release 7 December 2003

2003 Eureka Dawn Walk beautiful but smaller
But will Christine Nixon say sorry?

The 2003 Eureka Dawn Walk was an enchanting storytelling of the Eureka saga attracting about 60 participants, about a third of the number of participants when the event had Ballarat City Council and Ballarat Courier support.

With Leading Light, Dr Joe Toscano, co-coordinator of the Defend and Extend Medicare campaign,, and former Sovereign Hill activations officer, Jerry Tobin, as storyteller, the Dawn Walk retraced the march of the soldiers and police for their dawn attack of the Eureka Stockade on Sunday 3 December 1854, proudly and publicly, public liability insurance free.

"The controversy about public liability insurance discouraged some people, but it brought forth others who know from direct community experience what a dire inhibitor the public liability insurance scam has become for community events," said lantern master and event producer Graeme Dunstan. "These were people who were enchanted by the event, knew truth was being spoken and enacted, and on their enthusiasm the Dawn Walk will grow and grow."

"The best part for me was the warm reception the Dawn Walkers received from the Eureka Memorial Park Committee who had prepared breakfast for the Dawn Walkers and arranged for the Al Grassby, Eureka historian and former Minister for Immigration in the Whitlam government, to give a Dawn Oration ," said Mr Dunstan.

"All in all a deeply moving experience and a fixture for the 150th anniversary of the Eureka rebellion of 1854," he said.

Later, with Dr Joe Toscano and his partner Ellen Jose, Graeme Dunstan, attended the Eureka Luncheon in the Old Colonist Club and heard the address of Victorian Police Commissioner, Ms Christine Nixon.

Mr Dunstan appalled Old Colonist Club members by interjecting after the Police CommissionerŐs address and asking whether she would 'say sorry' for the police actions at Eureka in 1854. (The Victorian Police Service was just one year old at the time and responsible for most of the slaughter.)

The Police Commissioner not hearing the interjection clearly at the time did not respond but later in conversation with Mr Dunstan she said it was good thing for the Police Victoria to consider during its 150th anniversary.

Further information
Graeme Dunstan 03 5333 5442/0415 843 715 (Email is best)

Media Release 4 December 2003

Dr Joe Toscano to lead 2003 Eureka Dawn Walk

Dr Joe Toscano, Melbourne medical practitioner of 21 years and joint national coordinator of Defend and Extend Medicare lobby group, will be honoured as the Leading Light of the 2003 Eureka Dawn Walk when it assembles:

from 3.30 am Sunday 7 December 2003
in Alfred Deakin Square, off Camp Street, Ballarat

Each year the Dawn Walk has a special guest who is honoured for their conspicuous and contemporary service in defence of Australian rights and liberties.

"This year Dawn Walkers will be honouring Dr Toscano for his conspicuous citizen service defending Medicare in the face of the ideological attack by the pro corporate Howard Government", said Dawn Walk Master Lantern maker, Graeme Dunstan. (See and also

Dr Toscano has put together a national network of doctors and health care consumers who are effectively advocating that health care is a right, not a charity or a luxury. Dr Toscano describes Medicare as "the most important social innovation since pensions".

But the defending Medicare is just the most recent example of a lifetime of community based, direct democracy activism by Dr Toscano.

Dr Toscano is passionate about reclaiming Australia's radical traditions. He is an active member of the Anarchist Media Institute, a broadcaster on community radio 3CR and a researcher and writer of Australian history. (See

In particular he is passionate about reclaiming the radical spirit of the Eureka rebellion and last Wednesday 3 December, thirty people, most driving from Melbourne, joined Dr Joe at the Eureka memorial at 4 am to commemorate the 149th anniversary of the Government attack on the diggers at the Eureka Stockade. This was twice the number of people attending the Ballarat City CouncilŐs official commemoration, the Dawn Campfire.

The 2003 Eureka Dawn Walk will proceed this year proudly and publicly as a public liability insurance free event.

Further information
Dr Joe Toscano 0419 570 878
Graeme Dunstan 03 5333 5442/0415 843 715 (Email is best)

Media Release 1 December 2003

Gerry Tobin to be Eureka Dawn Walk Storyteller

Local Ballarat identity, Gerry Tobin, will be the storyteller for the 2003 Eureka Dawn Walk when it assembles:

from 3.30 am Sunday 7 December 2003
in Alfred Deakin Square, off Camp Street, Ballarat

As former activation officer for the Sovereign Hill Heritage Park, Gerry Tobin has made his living telling stories of Ballarat's history. His bearded face is familiar to many people from the leaping miner, "Eureka, I've found it!" image which has been part of Sovereign Hill advertising and promotions for some years.

Together with his brother, the late Peter Tobin, Gerry has been major mover in getting the Eureka commemorations activated in Ballarat.

Gerry recalls that while serving on the then Eureka Commemorations Committee, a party of three committee members (Peter Tobin, Gerry Tobin and Doug Sarah) undertook what is believed to be the first dawn walk - from Bakery Hill to the Eureka Memorial - which assembled at 4 am on 3 December 1984.

For Gerry, to remember the Eureka Stockade story is to remember what is best about the Australian spirit.

"So many men from so many different nations had come together on the goldfields of Ballarat," he recalls. "They came to the goldfields to get rich but when they were confronted by injustice, they banded together to defend their rights and liberties."

"Having a go and giving a bloke a fair go was the spirit of the Eureka diggers and this spirit became the foundation of the democratic reforms that followed in Australia," Mr Tobin said.

"So long as the Eureka story is told the spirit of the 'fair go' will endure and remain what is best and unique about Australian-ness."

Photo opportunity
Gerry Tobin and Dawn Walk lantern master, Graeme Dunstan will be at the Eureka Memorial, off Eureka Street, Ballarat, with lanterns

11 am Tuesday 2 December 2003

Further information
Gerry Tobin 03 5332 2765
Graeme Dunstan 0415 842 751

Media Release 20 November 2003

Eureka Dawn Walk to be a
Public Liability Insurance Free Event

The 2003 Eureka Dawn Walk will take place on Sunday 7 December as a public liability insurance free event.

In September Ballarat Mayor and Chair of the Eureka Committee, David Vendy, announced the 2003 Dawn Walk cancelled citing insurance problems.

"Not so," says Dawn Walk founding lantern maker, Graeme Dunstan. "To the contrary, from next Monday 24 November lantern making workshop will be in operation at the Grainery Lane Theatre and work will begin in preparation for the 2003 Dawn Walk." "Public liability insurance has become a nightmare for local government and community event organisers but it will not stop free citizens, each taking individual responsibility for their safety and well being, from commemorating the Eureka Stockade with a lantern lit story telling," he said.

Mr Dunstan describes public liability insurance as "a corporate rort" and a "corporate tax on public use of public places that benefits no-one but predatory lawyers and the corporate super rich."

And where better to challenge this inquituous and unjust tax, than the Eureka commemorations?

"When the Eureka diggers swore by the Southern Cross to stand together truly and defend their rights and liberties, core to those rights and liberties was freedom of assembly," said Mr Dunstan. "It was in defence of their free assembly at Eureka that the diggers fought and died."

"So it will be that 2003 Dawn Walkers will be walking true to the legacy of Eureka when they assemble for a public liability insurance free commemoration at 3.30 am on Eureka Sunday, 7 December 2003," he said. "May their courage in the face of corporate greed and tyranny be equally as auspicious."

Photo opportunity
Graeme Dunstan will be unveiling a mural which he and fellow artist, Raewyn Black, have prepared for the 2003 Dawn Walk.
11 am Friday 21 November 2003
at the Eureka Memorial, off Eureka Street, Ballarat

Measuring 2.8 meters long by 1 metre high, it depicts a Dawn Walk with the text "Eureka Dawn Walk/Courage in the Face of Tyranny/" The mural is mounted on side of happy Wheels, the mobile home of itinerant lantern maker Graeme Dunstan. Further information
Correspondence with Ballarat City Council
Graeme Dunstan 0415 843 751

Media Release 5 November 2003

Grainery Lane to host Lantern Making
for Eureka Dawn Walk

The lantern making workshop for the 2003 Eureka Dawn Walk will be hosted by Grainery Lane Community Theatre in Doveton Street, Ballarat.

The master lantern maker, Graeme Dunstan, will begin lantern making there from Monday 24 November. As with previous years he is inviting volunteers to come help him make lanterns and assist him prepare for the Dawn Walk of Sunday 7 December.

Over the past five years with support of the Ballarat Fine Art Gallery, the Eureka Dawn Walk, a lantern lit storytelling which assembles at 3.30 am and follows the route the soldiers took on their dawn attack, had become the signature event of the Eureka Week Commemorations in Ballarat.

In September Ballarat City Council's Eureka Committee, having failed to secure continued funding for the event, announced its cancellation citing problems with copyright and public liability insurance.

"The Dawn Walk is an artful and deeply moving way to remember the blood sacrifice of Eureka", Mr Dunstan said. "Too good to be let languish and die because of cultural management troubles within the Council and the institutional inhibitions created by the public liability insurance scam."

"This year it will be produced by volunteers and be dependent for its production costs on the generosity of the Dawn Walk's friends and supporters," he said.

And be promoted as public liability insurance free event.

Mr Dunstan notes that there is something entirely appropriate about this dependence of the Dawn Walk on volunteers and community support and the rebel stand in regard to public liability insurance.

"If the diggers in taking their stand for liberty at Eureka had waited for government funding and public liability insurance, Australians would still be living under British colonial tyranny," he said.

Further information
Correspondence with Ballarat City Council click
Graeme Dunstan 03 5354 8374 (and from next week 0415 843 751)

Media Release 4 October 2003

Eureka Dawn Walk to go ahead
free of Public Liability Insurance

The master lantern maker behind the creation of the Eureka Dawn Walk, Graeme Dunstan, is calling for friends of the Eureka Dawn Walk to help him produce the 2003 Walk independent of the Ballarat City Council and public liability insurance. Last week the Ballarat City CouncilŐs Eureka Committee announced the cancellation of the 2003 Eureka Dawn Walk citing problems with copyright and public liability insurance as the reasons.

For the past five years itinerant lantern maker, Graeme Dunstan, and local events maestro Fraser Mackay had worked under the aegis of the Ballarat Fine Art Gallery and, with the assistance of many volunteers and Ballarat school children, to build the Eureka Dawn Walk into a signature event for celebrating Eureka Week in Ballarat.

"But when the Gallery withdrew its funding, the Eureka Committee dropped the ball," said Mr Dunstan. "Instead of finding funds and building on the eventŐs success as a strength for the upcoming 150th anniversary, the Committee decided to dump its creators and produce it themselves."

"The Gallery respected us as artists and we created a very beautiful and popular celebration," said Mr Dunstan. "The Eureka Committee dismissed us as serfs. Then they discovered that producing lantern events was not so easy and pulled the plug."

It comes down to cultural incompetence within the Ballarat City Council. But the Dawn Walk is bigger than a few delusions born of ignorance.

"I want the event to go ahead this year and I want it to grow in strength and vigour as an artful and deeply meaningful way to honour the blood sacrifice of Eureka as the founding of Australian democracy," he said. "And I want the celebration to be deeply rooted in the Ballarat community and directly dependent on citizen goodwill and support."

"I believe it is more likely to achieve these goals outside the limitations of the Ballarat City Council and its committees."

Mr Dunstan said the 2003 Eureka Dawn Walk will be produced as a public liability insurance free event.

"In the face of the cruel tyranny of the British super rich, the Eureka diggers were demanding liberty," he said. "It is the essence of liberty that in reaching for it, one does not ask permission nor pay corporate crooks for the privilege." "Neither the diggers nor the soldiers needed public liability insurance to create history," said Mr Dunstan. "Nor shall we in remembering them."

Further information

Graeme Dunstan 02 4634 1287

For reports and correspondence between Ballarat City Council and Graeme Dunstan in the lead up to the 2003 Eureka Dawn Walk, click

For an account of the 2002 Eureka Dawn Walk click

Recommended Eureka Readings

Massacre at Eureka - The Untold Story by Bob O'Brien, Australian Scholarly Publishing 1992. Good writing and excellent source documents. The late Bob O'Brien was a popular radio journalist who had retired to the gold era town of Clunes, Victoria, and devoted himself to researching gold fields history.

Eureka by John Molony, Viking 1984. Molony is professor of History at Australian National University. The research is thorough but the writing is flat and tendentious. The point he makes the Eureka stockade was no rebellion. The diggers had gathered to defend themselves from a massacre which had been planned and was executed by the colonial government of Governor Charles Hotham to intimidate the miners and the demands for liberal democratic reforms.

Six Australian Battlefields - The black resistance to invasion and the white struggle against colonial oppression by Al Grassby and Marji Hill, Angus and Robertson Publishers 1988. Here the Eureka stockade is set in the context of other battles that have taken place on Australian soil, bloody suppressions of people seeking respect for human rights by the regiments and colonial auxilaries of the British super rich.

Eureka Stockade by Richard Butler, Angus and Robertson 1983. This is written as a novel based on the screen play of a TV mini series of Crawford production. Peter Lalor as sensitive hero. Readable and interesting to observe how the fragments from historical source documents had become a script.


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