BEING the birthplace of Australian democracy is a responsibility Judy Verlin urges the community to more actively take ownership in.
Ms Verlin, who is Ballarat Cemeteries Trust chairman and the city's former mayor, said there was a small passionate crowd gathered on Tuesday for the annual commemorative service at Ballarat Old Cemetery, naming the soliders and miners who died in the Eureka Stockade.
Given the context of what occurred in Ballarat on December 3, 1854, in shaping Australian democracy, Ms Verlin said the Old Cemetery should have been packed for the 165th anniversary.
"(Eureka Stockade) is a significant part of our history and should be part of a national story," Ms Verlin said.
"Eureka Uprising is the only uprising on Australian soil. Today, we tend to take for granted elected political representatives and debates without fear. Democracy is fragile and it's an important thing."
Ms Verlin said it was telling to have three tiers of government in bipartisan support acknowledge and be aware of the day: City of Ballarat mayor Ben Taylor and Victorian Health Parliamentary Secretary Anthony Carbines attended the cemetery service; federal representatives sent an apology.
Eureka commemorations also featured a democracy walk and flag service from the stockade site, an effigy burning (this year of Prime Minister Scott Morrison) at dawn and the Peter Tobin oration from archaeologist and gold fields historian Susan Lawrence.
FLASHBACK: Remember the Eureka Rebellion told in Box Wars? Watch the 2018 moment below
The Old Cemetery ceremony focused remembering the men, women and children of Eureka. Names were read of the 22 miners and five soldiers who died in the uprising.
One new Ballarat resident, who had moved from Tasmania, attended in period-inspired clothing. The woman told Ms Verlin she had felt the need to be there.
"(Ballarat Cemeteries Trust) has a responsibility as custodians of the Old Cemetery to keep the stories alive and records publicly available and people aware," Ms Verlin said.
"...In the very early stages of this nation there was an uprising with people standing up for their rights and opposing what they deemed unfair...For many, it is our birthplace of Australian democracy and, when you put it in that context, the cemetery service should be full."
The Trust maintains the Stockade miners and soldiers' graves in perpetuity.
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