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Darwin Rebellion (Liberty Square) Print Page Print this page

Liberty Square
Liberty Square

Photographs supplied by Kent Watson

Liberty Square commemorates the site of the civil unrest demonstration of 1918. It also commemorates the Territory`s battle for self rule and full admission to the federation of Australia.

In 1918, Vestey`s Meatworks, the largest employer in the Northern Territory, was closed and this, together with the earlier nationalisation of hotels in Darwin, caused extreme agitation among Union members. The situation culminated in December 1918 when several hundred Union members marched in protest through Darwin and went to Government House to demand the removal of Administrator Gilruth and an investigation into his administration. This event is known as the Darwin Rebellion.

Location

Address:The Esplanade, Liberty Square, Darwin, 0800
State:NT
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -12.467222
Long: 130.843333
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Government
Sub-Theme:Dissent
Actual Event STart Date:17-December-1918
Actual Event End Date:20-February-1920

Dedication

Actual Monument Dedication Date:Wednesday 1st May, 1996
Front Inscription

                            LIBERTY SQUARE
          This plaque was unveiled by the Chief Minister
                 The Hon. Shane L. Stone, MLA
                           on 1 May, 1996.

Liberty Square is the site if the "Darwin Rebellion" of 17 December, 1918, when several hundred residents marched on Government House to demand the removal of the Administrator, Dr. J.A. Gilruth, from the Northern Territory.

This followed growing frustration among the citizenry with Commonwealth Government administration which had taken over responsibility for the Territory in 1911.

The rebellion has been cited as second only to the Eureka Stockade of 1854 in its open defiance of Government Authority.

After several weeks of virtual siege in Government House, Dr. Gilruth and his family departed Darwin on the night of 20 February 1919 aboard HMAS Encounter, a cruiser sent by the Commonwealth Government to ensure public order.

Liberty Square commemorates the commencement of the Territory`s long  battle for self rule and full membership of the Federation of Australia.

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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