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Federation

Federation is the process by which six partly self-governing British colonies decided to form a new nation. Australia was created by peaceful means as an Act of the British Parliament—the result of much consideration and debate. This webpage provides a series of resources examining the path to federation. The page includes ...

Interactive

Federal Parliament history timeline

This interactive timeline explores key milestones in the history of Australia's Parliament that led to federation and how the work of Parliament has influenced Australian democratic development since 1901. The timeline allows users to explore the milestones chronologically or follow thematic trails. Selected milestones ...

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The Australian Parliament

This website resource is a teacher reference about the Australian Parliament, its constituent parts and how it works. It describes in general terms the movement towards Federation then looks at the symbols and emblems subsequently adopted by the Commonwealth of Australia. The resource includes a list of the democratic rights ...

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Australian Constitution in focus

The Australian Constitution is the legal framework for how Australia is governed. This article explores in detail the history of the Constitution, its key features and the High Court’s role in interpreting it. The page describes processes for amending the Constitution including through referendum as well as two case studies ...

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Royal Australian Mint: units of work

This suite of teaching and learning units of work related to Australian currencies for middle and upper primary students. The units explore the role coins play in commemoration and the history of Australian currency from colonial times to post Federation. Lessons are supplemented with a range of cross-curriculum lesson ideas.

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Alfred Deakin, prime minister 1903-04, 1905-08, 1909-10

This is a black-and-white photograph of Alfred Deakin, Australia's second prime minister. It shows him wearing a white shirt and tie, with a vest. He is facing the camera and appears to be writing with a feathered quill.

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George Reid, prime minister 1904-05

This is a black-and-white photograph of George Reid, Australia's fourth prime minister, which introduces a range of online material about his life and career. The photograph is an official portrait. It shows him wearing a white shirt with a white tie and vest. He is looking away from the camera.

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Electoral events timeline

This is a timeline setting out some major dates in Australia's electoral history. It begins in 1835 with the establishment of Australia's first political 'party', the Australian Patriotic Association, in NSW and ends with the granting of self-government to the ACT in 1989. The timeline is supported by a set of focus questions ...

Online

The people make a nation - unit of work

This is an extended unit of work about how Australia became a federation and how its federal system of government works. It comes from the 'Discovering democracy' series of units and is organised around four focus questions explored through sequences of learning that include suggested student activities and assessment tasks. ...

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Constitutional recognition of the first Australians

This is a two-page PDF fact sheet that discusses the need to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples within the Australian Constitution. It explores the processes by which the Constitution was established in 1900, the reference to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the process for changing ...

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Rural communities: community events

This is a website about rural life in Australia in the 19th and 20th centuries; there is a particular focus on community activities that brought people together to socialise and as a boost for morale. It includes information about community events, social and recreational activities and key organisations and societies for ...

Interactive

Making a Nation: a system of representation

This interactive resource allows students to discover the development of Australia from six separate colonies to a federated nation. Students investigate, through a variety of documents, cartoons, maps and photographs, the factors that contributed to Federation, the powers of the federal parliament, what representative ...

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Off to war: Australia answers the call

This is a Stage 5 resource that looks at the reasons for World War I, the reaction in Australia and the messages promoted by enlistment posters. The resource will support the introduction of the new syllabus and will dovetail with the Anzac Centenary commemorative events and publications.

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Edmund Barton, prime minister 1901-03

This is a black-and-white photograph of Edmund Barton which introduces a range of online materials about his life and various roles as a politician, advocate for federation and High Court justice. The photograph was taken during his term as Australia's first prime minister. He is wearing a waistcoat and suit and is facing ...

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Our nation: then and now - teacher resource

This is a resource about analysing photographs taken at the time of Federation and comparing them with contemporary photographs. It includes a set of eight photographs and a suggestion about where to find more. The resource also contains detailed suggestions about how students should examine the photographs, a Federation ...

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Federation fast facts

This is a teacher resource that provides a summary of the events leading to Federation, the arguments for and against Federation, and a discussion of the issue of trade as a barrier to Federation. The resource includes a link to a Federation timeline and to other resources about Federation.

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Chris Watson, prime minister 1904

This is a black-and-white photograph of Chris Watson, Australia's third prime minister. He is bearded, and wearing a white shirt and striped tie with a vest. He is facing the camera.

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Prime ministers of Australia

This website contains biographies of Australia’s prime ministers up to John Howard. Each biography includes information about the prime minister and his terms in office and includes major events and milestones, activities beyond politics and pieces of legislation implemented.

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Debates that shaped the nation - teacher resource

This is a teacher resource about the debates at the Federation conventions of the 1890s compared to those at the constitutional conventions of the 1990s. The activities suggested in the resource emphasise the historical inquiry process, beginning with students asking focus questions about the issues discussed at the conventions, ...

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Federation

This unit of work focuses on the topic of Federation in the year 6 History curriculum. As well as an overview of the topic, the resource provides teachers with a series of learning sequences to guide students through the topic, and provides numerous images, links to sources and PDF worksheets throughout. Activities support ...