©National Archives

Photograph of 'Gold Rush' in New South Wales, 1851 In 1851 E H Hargraves discovered gold at Bathurst in New South Wales and a "rush" ensued. In 1850 the combined populations of Victoria and New South Wales stood at 265,503, but within ten years this had risen to 886,393. Conditions for the work force, including prices and wages, caused widespread discontent. In December 1854 discontent among the gold diggers in Ballarat, New South Wales, broke into open rebellion following a miscarriage of justice. Armed police and soldiers ended the revolt by attacking a stockade - over which flew a blue flag bearing the Southern Cross - erected by the "diggers" on 3rd December. Although figures differ, it is accepted that four soldiers and thirty "diggers" were killed. This seditious placard was circulated in Melbourne and Geelong the following day. The political demands embodied in the placard, including four of the six points of Chartism, were largely conceded by the constitutional reforms of the following year.