HISTORIANS have brought back to life the moment a democratic movement was born on central Victoria's goldfields.
The Chewton Domain Society has launched a new website to tell the long overlooked story of the Diggers' Monster Meeting at Forest Creek in 1851.
The gathering of 15,000 miners was a prelude to the violent clash at the Eureka Stockade three years later when authorities stormed a make-shift battlement and killed 30 miners.
But the Chewton meeting to protest mining licence price hikes was peaceful and the colony's head, Charles La Trobe, backed down from a controversial plan to double the fees, fearing insurrection.
The Monster Meeting began a pattern of popular protest by gold diggers orchestrated by leaders with broader democratic demands.
The protests culminated in Eureka, which triggered wholesale change including a new constitution, the end of the licence system, land rights reform and the introduction of voting rights for some.
To view the new website visit www.monstermeeting.net
Have you signed up to the Bendigo Advertiser's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in central Victoria.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.