Eamon & Liam


On the 1st January, 1901, Australia became one nation, but before 1901 Australia was six different British colonies.

Federation was celebrated across Australia.

The people in these colonies started to identify themselves as Australians.

They thought colonies would work better as one nation.

The birth of our nation is often referred to as 'federation'.

Each State had their own railways and their own postage stamps.

Fiji and New Zealand were originally part of this process but they decided not to be part of this federation.

The idea of being Australian was celebrated with songs and poems.

Sir Edmund Barton

Born: 18th January, 1849, Glebe, Sydney, NSW

Died: 7th January, 1920, Meadlow Bath, NSW

  • In 1865, Barton entered the University of Sydney.
  • He was a politician and became a supporter of Federation.
  • He became Australia's first prime minister and a judge.
  • He died of heart disease in 1920.

Before Federation

  • Before the 1st January, 1901, 'Australia' the nation did not really exist.
  • Gondwanaland had been around for millions of years and aboriginal people had lived on the land longer than anyone can remember.
  • Considering these facts, Australia as a nation is very young.
  • Before 1901, each of the six colonies had its own government, laws and taxes.
  • This caused a lot of problems and people thought it best to unite as one nation.
  • Rules for a federal system of governance had to be agreed upon.
  • The people of the colonies voted to accept the new Australian Constitution.
  • Under this new Constitution a federal Parliament came into being which could make laws on behalf of the new Australian nation.
  • The colonies of New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia united and became states of Australia, known as the Commonwealth of Australia.
  • In 1901, the two territories did not exist.


  • Australia became a nation when six separate colonies became states and were united – that is, they became federated.
  • The states became stronger than separate colonies when they worked together.
  • As a whole they could look after defence, immigration, local industry and trade.
  • No longer did they need to compete with each other, together they achieved so much more under the new Commonwealth of Australia.
  • Unlike other countries, Australia achieved nationhood without war.
  • The people of the six separate colonies chose to be a single nation through gradual and peaceful means.


The youngest governor of Victoria, he is also the shortest lived. He died at the age of 47 and only became Governor at 40 years of age.


Was regauged as the father of Australian federation. Sir Henry Parkes was described as "the most commanding figure in Australian politics".