The Dinner Commemorates and Celebrates the 168th Anniversary of the 1854 Eureka Events with the presentation of the Eureka Democracy Award. The 2022 Eureka Democracy Award will be presented during the evening to Steve Bracks, AC
THE 2022 EUREKA DEMOCRACY AWARDEE: STEVE BRACKS
The Hon. Steve Bracks AC was the 44th Premier of Victoria and represented the seat of Williamstown in the Victorian Parliament from 1994 to 2007. He led Labor in Victoria from Opposition to a minority government in the 1999 State election. He became one of Victoria’s most successful and longest-serving Premiers, winning three consecutive elections, achieving record majorities in the 2002 and 2006 elections, introducing substantial reforms in infrastructure and services, investing heavily in education and skills, lifting Victoria’s retention rate to Year 12 education to one of the highest in Australia, while maintaining strong budgets and a growing economy. With the support of all other Australian governments, Steve led a National Reform Agenda to increase workplace participation, improve skills, reduce business regulation and boost productivity.
Steve’s second government reformed the state's system for electing the upper house (Legislative Council) in Victoria with the introduction of proportional representation, with eight five-member regions replacing the previous single-member constituencies. This was a substantial political reform, advancing democracy in Victoria, giving minor parties the opportunity to win seats.
Steve Bracks was raised in Ballarat and, together with Rob Knowles, was one of the two initial patrons of the Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka from its opening in 2013.
After his resignation from the Office of Premier and from Parliament in 2007, Steve has held two major honorary positions, an advising role in East Timor working alongside the newly elected Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão assisting with the establishment of Gusmão's administration up to 2017; and Honorary Chair of the Union Education Foundation from 2011, ongoing.
Steve was appointed as Chancellor of Victoria University from 2021. He is Chair of Maurice Blackburn Lawyers; the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) Trust and the AFL Strategic Community The Dinner Commemorates and Celebrates the 168th Anniversary of the 1854 Eureka Events with the presentation of the Eureka Democracy Award. The 2022 Eureka Democracy Award will be presented during the evening to Steve Bracks, AC. Investment Fund Advisory Board. He is a non-executive Director of the Bank of Sydney, Cbus Property Ltd. and from 2017 – 2019 of Jardine Lloyd Thomson Australia.
Steve has served as Chair of the Cbus superannuation fund from 2007 to 2021; the Independent Chair for the Australian Subscription Television and Radio Association from 2008 to 2013; Chair of AFL Sportsready – the training body of the AFL from 2013 to 2017; Chair of Cycling Australia 2017 to 2018; and Chair of the McKell Institute Victoria 2016-2020.
He is a member of the Australian Republican Movement’s Republican Advisory Panel and the West of Melbourne Alliance Board. He was a Senior Adviser to KPMG from 2007 to 2012 and a member of the National Australia Bank’s Philanthropic Board from 2008 to 2013.
Mr Bracks received a Companion of the Order of Australia in 2010 for services to the Parliament and community of Victoria. In 2011 he was presented with the Timor-Leste Solidarity Medal. He has also received Honorary Doctorates from Ballarat and Deakin Universities. He is Patron of the Australia Lebanon Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Vic) Ltd (ALCC), the Balibo House Trust, The Burnet Institute, the Centre for Dialogue La Trobe University, the Conservation Ecology Centre – Cape Otway, the Eureka Democracy Centre, Ballarat, the Hadassah Australia Foundation, the Williamstown Seaworks Foundation, The Sir Rupert Hamer Records Management Awards, the Western Health Foundation and the Western Melbourne Tourism Board. He is also a leading advocate for both multiculturalism and Aboriginal reconciliation.
Emeritus Professor Judith Brett, of La Trobe University, historian and author and former Professor of Politics, will be our guest speaker on the Evening. Judith joined La Trobe in 1989 to teach and research Australian Politics, Political Biography and Political History. While Judith retired at the end of 2012, she remains committed to political research, bringing the fruits of her enquiry to the general public through books written for a broad readership and through the media. Judith is a former editor of Meanjin and a contributing columnist for The Age.
Judith has published extensively and to substantial critical acclaim about Australian political leaders (including Robert Menzies and John Howard) and various political issues. We look forward to hearing from Judith about her biography of Alfred Deakin (2017) which received the 2018 National Biography Award and also about her book Secret Ballot to Democracy Sausage, (2019) which was shortlisted for the 2019 Queensland Literary Awards, both popular and well received contributions to our understanding of Australian political history.
Come along and enjoy an evening of conversation, celebration and commemoration of the remarkable social change that was influenced by the events that took place at Eureka 168 years ago and whose impacts continue to positively influence our society today.
TICKETS: $84 each, Tables of 10 - $840:
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The launch of the new Eureka Pathway of Rememberance took place on Friday May 27th 2022. The Pathway is a memorial to Australia’s Democracy Martyrs at Ballarat’s Eureka Stockade Memorial Park - the very site where they fell.
The Eureka Pathway of Remembrance memorialises the 35 diggers and their supporters, known to have died at the Eureka Stockade on 3 December 1854. In a manner that acknowledges the egalitarian nature of our nation, Diggers and Soldiers are recognised alongside each other, ordered only by their country of birth; their surnames in alphabetical order. There are plaques along the pathway for each..
His Excellency Mr. Tim Mawe, Ambassador for the Republic of Ireland to Australia, told the gathering “I am delighted that Ireland has been able to support the development of the Pathway. It is a small contribution to recognise the sacrifice made by the 14 Irishmen and all those who sacrificed their lives for an ideal of democracy in 1854”.
Eric Howard, President of Eureka Australia, said “Eureka is Australia’s most important story of ordinary people seeking a fair go from overbearing authority. ,,, It’s a message still relevant today.” He also said “ Within two years of Eureka, the autocratic, overbearing government fully controlled by a Governor was swept away and replaced with an elected lower house of Parliament with broad based male suffrage and a less democratically based but reformed upper house. The reforms unleashed and powered by Eureka were far reaching and ground breaking.”
The Pathway of Remembrance was proposed by Eureka Australia and is a jointly funded by Eureka Australia, the Cities of Ballarat and Goulburn, and the Irish, German, Canadian and UK Embassies.