The 2019 and Inaugural Spirit of Eureka Award is open for nominations.
The Award will recognise someone who, in the spirit of the Eureka rebels, has demonstrated an outstanding and ongoing commitment to the struggle for workers’ rights.
Follow this link to download a nomination form. Nominations close 5pm, 31 October, 2019.
2013 SOUTH AUSTRALIAN “SPIRIT OF EUREKA AWARD” WINNER
Published on 07 March 2014
The Spirit of Eureka Award is presented in recognition of outstanding service to others in the same spirit as those who fought to end injustice and tyranny at the Eureka Stockade.
The inaugural (2013) “Spirit of Eureka Award” was presented to 95 year old South Australian, Jim Doyle. This award was given to Jim at the Spirit of Eureka’s (South Australia) annual Eureka Dinner, in Adelaide on November 16th.
Jim was born in 1918 and during his early working life worked alongside and learned from men who had been involved in the 1890’s strikes, which played a major influence in shaping the political and economic course of Australia. Despite his age (or because of it) Jim is still politically active, attending political meetings and expressing his views as well as producing a bi-monthly news sheet, “The Plod” with news and views as to the political goings on across the country.
Jim’s acceptance speech was outstanding, never being one for not taking an opportunity to tell it as it is, Jim expressed his views on the past and the future, extolling the working class and its historical political role. He was concerned that not enough was being done to educate the younger generations in cutting through the propaganda and discovering the real truth about capitalism.
Jim received a very generous applause for his speech, in particular from the younger participants present.
The night was good reminder that far from being a fair and equitable country, which the diggers at Eureka had fought and died for, we are still a long way off.
2014 SOUTH AUSTRALIAN “SPIRIT OF EUREKA AWARD” WINNER
Published on 14 December 2014
Pas Forgione Eureka AwardThe South Australian 2014 Spirit of Eureka Award went to Pas Forgione. Below is an abridged version of the tribute given by Stephen Darley.
Pas Forgione is one of the most effective and empathetic political activists I have known – and I’ve known many. He does what a lot of the radical left doesn’t do these days – he goes out to the working class areas and organises there, rather than stay in the ‘safe zones’ of the CBD and inner-city suburbs. And he is very well received there, he comes acrosss as the opposite of someone just out to ‘use’ people. He has been a major part in building up SIMPLA (Stop Income Management in Playford) to an excellent and much-needed group, and similarly with the Anti-Poverty Network.
Pas has also overcome significant personal adversity, namely a very severe stutter – from wanting to “hide under coats” (in his own words)
ten years ago at the thoughyt of public speaking, to very directly and articulately addressing large demos (as witnessed myself at the August
March Adelaide rally).
2015 SOUTH AUSTRALIA “SPIRIT OF EUREKA AWARD” WINNER
Published on 19 December 2015
The South Australian 2015 Spirit of Eureka Award went to Tanya Hunter. Below is and Abridged version of the tribute given by Mike Williss.
Tanya Hunter is an embodiment of the spirit of Eureka. She is a strong woman who fearlessly confronts injustice.
When Federal government policies induced the WA Premier to announce the closure of so-called remote Aboriginal communities in that state, Tanya swiftly set about organising marches in support of the affected communities. She overcame several obstacles along the way and created a strong network of support for the Aboriginal communities of her home state, WA.
Tanya has also been a participant in the campaign against compulsory income management. She has been an activist in the Anti-Poverty Network. She has become well-known in South Australia as a fighter for people’s rights. In recent times, this has also extended to support for our Kiwi brothers and sisters imprisoned on Christmas Island.
Tanya supports the self-determination of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. She rejects the farce of Constitutional “Recognition” and urges support for the sovereignty of Australian First Nations peoples.
She is a worthy recipient of the annual Spirit of Eureka Award in 2015.
Jimmy O’Connor, South Australian CFMEU union organiser, was presented with the “Eureka Oath” painting in recognition of his contribution to the struggles of the Working Class.
In serving the interests of the members of his union, Jimmy O’Connor has had to stand tall in the face of legislation designed to crush construction unions.
Industrial legislation generally has stripped workers of most of the bargaining strength they once enjoyed, but the special laws relating to the construction industry are something else again.
Jimmy was barred by the Federal Court on March 25, 2014 from entering the New Royal Adelaide Hospital (NRAH) site unless he was “lawfully exercising his rights” which severely restricted his access and the business he was entitled to discuss with members. This order originated in action he took to defend members at another site.
In the meantime, a builder from interstate who was working on the NRAH site was found to have employed a whole lot of s457 workers despite having given the CFMEU an earlier assurance that he would employ appropriately skilled locals.
On 13 May 2014 Jimmy exercised his rights to enter the NRAH site to hold discussions with CFMEU members, in the course of which he confronted the rogue subcontractor about the broken promise to employ local workers. He demanded that an unemployed member, Jason Clarke, who had the required skill set, be employed as per the previous undertaking.
The FWBC alleged that this constituted an “unlawful demand” and launched proceedings against him in the Federal Court. Jimmy, who every decent worker will laud to the skies for doing his job and representing his members, was found guilty.
If this is justice, then it is the class “justice” of the building bosses whose control of the institutions of the state permit them to persecute and prosecute union leaders who are merely doing ordinary everyday union work.
2016 SOUTH AUSTRALIAN “SPIRIT OF EUREKA AWARD’ WINNERS
Published on 30 November 2016
The South Australian 2016 Spirit of Eureka Award went to Jeanie Lucas and Mike Khiizam. Below is the tribute given by Stephen Darley.
Mike Khizam and Jeanie Lucas have been the heart and soul of both NoWar and Australian Friends of Palestine (AFOPA). The biggest demonstration in South Australian’s history, the 100,000 people who rallied against the Iraq Invasion in February 2003, had a great deal to do with their leadership of and dedication to the anti-war coalition group, NoWar. For years afterwards Mike was the inspirational chief spokesperson, and Jeanie the indispensible secretary of NoWar, showing how all the destruction, oppression and greed for power and resources of that invasion played out. Then Jeanie and Mike shifted their focus to AFOPA, and performed similar roles – fighting US and Zionist lies playing down the evils of the Israeli apartheid state and initiating the regular and very successful BDS (Boycott Divestment and Sanctions) actions in Rundle Mall. Lately they brought together a group of activists to start Chilcott OZ, and campaign to bring leaders like Howard to account for the Iraq Invasion, establish an inquiry into its origins, and ensure only parliament in full session can commit Australia to war in the future.
2017 VICTORIAN “SPIRIT OF EUREKA AWARD’ WINNERS
Published on 02 December 2017
The Longford workers and their partners received the 2017 Spirit of Eureka Award, a framed reproduction of the rebel miners swearing allegiance to the Southern Cross, along with a Spirit of Eureka badge for every worker on the picket line. The plaque read, “Awarded to the Longford maintenance workers in recognition of their inspiring struggle”.
For more than 160 days Longford Esso (Gippsland, Victoria) maintenance workers and their supporters have been on a community picket resisting ExxonMobil (Esso parenting company) savage attacks on their wages and working conditions.
The workers were visibly moved and honoured to have received this year’s Eureka award. They paid special tribute and thanks to their partners who have stood with them without wavering
2018 VICTORIAN ‘SPIRIT OF EUREKA AWARD’ WINNER
Published on 29 December 2018
On Thursday November 29 2018, over 150 people, including union officials and members, community activists, and Spirit of Eureka supporters gathered at the Maritime Union of Australia Hall in Melbourne to celebrate the 164th anniversary of the Eureka Stockade.
The 2018 Spirit of Eureka Award was presented to Dave Noonan on behalf of the CFMMEU Construction Division for their resolute struggle in defense of workers’ rights and the Eureka flag. This year’s award was a unique, one of a kind, hand painted picture by young artist Harley Kewish, son of one of the Longford maintenance workers who were the recipients of last year’s award.
2019 VICTORIAN ‘SPIRIT OF EUREKA AWARD’ WINNER
Published on 04 December 2019
Over 160 people, including unionists, community activists and Spirit of Eureka supporters gathered at the Maritime Union of Australia Hall in Melbourne on Thursday November 28, 2019 to commemorate and celebrate the 165th anniversary of the Eureka Rebellion.
The 2019 Spirit of Eureka Award was presented to Joan Coxsedge, for her tireless and unwavering dedication and work over more than 50 years for social justice, real democratic rights for the people and against imperialism and imperialist wars. She was presented with a framed painting by indigenous artist Peter Clarke from the Gunditjimara Nation in South West Victoria, who grew up in a Ballarat Orphanage. He titled his painting the Spirit of Ballarat, which is a Eureka flag done in an Aboriginal dot painting style.