Australia’s Federation – Behind the News
Articles,  Blog

Australia’s Federation – Behind the News


Now you probably know that different states have different laws and different leaders But have you ever wondered why that is well it all goes back to a time when Australian States were separate colonies I thought it was a good chance to go back in time and take a look at how Australia came to be Australia and A warning for aboriginal and torres strait Islander viewers this story contains images of people who’ve died Imagine you’re on a train Traveling for hours across the vast australian continent and partly through your journey this happens immigration Papers please Back in the late 1800s making a trip between australian colonies was a bit like traveling to a different [country] you [can] be stopped at the border by immigration and searched In fact if you are traveling between [say] new South wales and Queensland it would have had to [change] trains Because the rails were different sizes Australia was in the country. It was just the name of a continent divided into six very separate British colonies Had different leaders and different laws they even had their own armies But there were some people pushing to [change] that one was Henry parkes five times premier of new South Wales [a] great question you have to consider if the time has not yet risen for the creation on this australian continent on Australian government in 1889 he made this famous speech in the town of Tender Fields about federation the push to unite the colonies as a single country It wasn’t the best speech ever by all accounts Hey, but it made an impact parts convinced the leaders [of] the colonies [to] get together and talk about federation Some came from New zealand. It was a British colony – and it could have joined the new country After much negotiating in 1891 the delegates drew up a draft constitution for the commonwealth of Australia But the idea didn’t take off It wasn’t a good time for the colonies the economy wasn’t doing well plus there was a feeling that the draft constitution wasn’t democratic enough that it didn’t give ordinary people enough of a say Time went on and the colonies kept changing many kept fighting for the cause of federation like alfred Deakin He was part of a new generation Born and Bred in Australia who thought the continent should be a united country Eventually he helped to convince the colonies to give it another shot this time people got to vote for [representatives] Who’d helped to draw up a [new] constitution? There was a lot of arguing the bigger Richer states were worried that they’d have to share money with the poorer ones And the small states worried that they wouldn’t have a say in decisions South Australia had recently given women the right to vote and it wanted the whole country to have that right Then there was the issue of where the nation’s capital should be Sydney is the obvious choice of the capital of this nation? [don’t] be absurd well, it’s far superior New zealand had decided to stay [out] of it and western Australia wasn’t too keen on federation either But eventually a new constitution was drawn up And most colonies let their people vote on whether or not they wanted in in 1899 [all] of the Colonies Except Western Australia said yes Australia was about to become a nation Western Australia, did agree to join a year later But the constitution had already been written and agreed [to] by the queen And that’s why you can still see a line in here saying that [waa] gets to be a part of the commonwealth [if] her majesty Satisfied but the people of Western Australia have agreed thereto In 1901 in Sydney Centennial Park the Commonwealth of Australia was proclaimed a federation with six states The Northern territory in the ACT would come along a few years later The states would keep a lot of their lawmaking and tax collecting powers While the federal government would run things like defence and immigration The first prime [minister] was Edmund Barton who’d helped to write the new constitution? not everyone benefited from federation Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people weren’t included in the constitution and The new government made it harder for people who weren’t European to immigrate to Australia But it was a major point in Australia’s history, and the first step towards the country we know today

70 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *