Teacher Guide Federation Timeline
Australia’s democracy has been shaped by many people, events and ideas throughout history. This timeline provides a quick reference to the events explored in Getting it Together – From Colonies to Federation. These events are important in Australia’s progress towards nationhood.
|1856||Responsible government achieved in New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.|
|1857||Responsible government achieved in South Australia.|
|1860||Responsible government achieved in Queensland.|
|1863||Northern Territory comes under South Australian administration from New South Wales.|
|1887||Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee.|
Henry Parkes campaigns for Federation in his Tenterfield Oration.
Colony Premiers agree to a Federation conference.
The Australasian Federation Conference held in Melbourne in February. Conference decides a convention should be called to write a constitution.
Responsible government achieved in Western Australia.
|1891||Australasian Convention held in Sydney where a Constitution is drafted (March–April).|
|1893||Corowa Conference passes the Corowa Plan to implement a new constitutional process.|
|1894||South Australian women gain the right to vote.|
|1895||A modified Corowa Plan adopted at the Premiers’ Conference in Hobart.|
|1896||Bathurst People’s Federal Convention held.|
First session of the Australasian Federal Convention held in Adelaide (March–April) Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee.
Second session of the Australasian Federal Convention held in Sydney (September).
Third session of the Australasian Federal Convention held in Melbourne. Convention adopts the draft Constitution of the Australian Commonwealth.
Unsuccessful referendum on the Constitution Bill in New South Wales.
Successful referendums in Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia.
Premiers’ ‘secret’ conference, Melbourne, agrees to amend the Constitution Bill.
Successful referendum in South Australia, New South Wales, Tasmania, Victoria and Queensland.
Western Australian women gain the right to vote.
Outbreak of the South African War (Boer War) and the colonies send troops.
The British Parliament passes the Constitution Bill and the Bill receives royal assent.
Successful referendum held in Western Australia (31 July).
Royal Proclamation of the Commonwealth (17 September).
Inauguration of the Commonwealth in Sydney (1 January).
Edmund Barton becomes Australia’s first Prime Minister.
Death of Queen Victoria (22 January).
First elections for the Commonwealth Parliament (29–30 March).
The first Federal Parliament officially opened in Melbourne (9 May).
The new Commonwealth raises more troop contingents for the Boer War.
Commonwealth Parliament passes the Pacific Island Labourers Act to send Pacific Island labourers home (December).
Commonwealth Parliament passes Immigration Restriction Act designed to stop Asian immigration (December).
End of hostilities in the Boer War (May).
Commonwealth Parliament passes the Commonwealth Franchise Act to give the vote to men and women (June).
Women win the right to vote for the New South Wales Parliament.
Women in New South Wales, Queensland, Tasmania and Victoria vote for the first time for the Commonwealth Parliament (December).
Women win the right to vote for the Tasmanian Parliament.
|1905||Women win the right to vote for the Queensland Parliament.|
Women win the right to vote for the Victorian Parliament.
Australian Coat of Arms proclaimed.
|1909||Australian currency introduced.|
Australian Capital Territory established (January).
Commonwealth Parliament assumes control of the Northern Territory from South Australia (January).
Introduction of compulsory enrolment for Commonwealth elections.
|1913||Canberra is chosen as the site of the future national capital.|
|1914||Outbreak of hostilities in First World War.|
|1915||Australian and New Zealand troops land at Gallipoli.|
|1916||First referendum to conscript Australians into battle fails.|
Second referendum to conscript Australians into battle fails.
Transcontinental Railway completed.
|1918||End of hostilities in First World War.|
|1921||Edith Cowan elected to the Western Australian Legislative Assembly and becomes the first woman elected to an Australian Parliament.|
|1924||Introduction of compulsory voting for Commonwealth elections.|
Canberra becomes the national capital.
Commonwealth Parliament begins sitting in Canberra in the Provisional Parliament House.