Henry Parkes and his wife came from England to Sydney in 1839. He first worked on a farm but hated it. Being clever, however, and keen to become rich, he quickly found better work. By 1850, he was running a newspaper that published stories calling for more rights for the people. He was soon elected to parliament because of his support for democracy. He was Premier of New South Wales five times, switching sides often, and always giving a good speech to explain why. He kept trying to make money in business, but always failed.
In 1889, in a speech at Tenterfield, he declared that the colonies must not just cooperate; they should form a strong new nation. He organised a Convention that met in 1891, and drafted a constitution for a Commonwealth of Australia. This was very like the Constitution that was finally adopted in 1901. Parkes died in 1896, so he did not see Federation. However, he was the one who had most powerfully said that making a nation was a great work, and that the colonies should set aside their differences to make it happen.