Investigation 5

How should Victorians commemorate Federation now and into the future?

Federation was an important milestone in Australia’s and Victoria’s history. Its significance has been commemorated in various ways over the years. In 2001, to mark the Commonwealth’s one hundredth anniversary, the Australian Government issued special Centenary of Federation coins and stamps. Although Melbourne has Federation Square and the sculpture called ‘Federation Bells’, we do not celebrate a national Federation Day as we do the national holiday of Anzac Day.

Use your knowledge and imagination to think of ways in which Victorians could commemorate Federation now and into the future. You might feel that the celebrations should have some things in common with the celebrations that took place in 1901. Or, when you consider how Victoria has changed and developed over more than a century, you might decide that celebrations should reflect new and different elements of the State’s identity and its place in the Australian nation.

Your Task

Imagine how Federation could be commemorated every year in Victoria.


  1. Imagine your class has been put in charge of organising Federation Day, an event to be celebrated in every State and Territory of Australia on 1 January. You will be celebrating the creation of the nation, as well as what is special about each place in the nation. As a class, brainstorm and write down your ideas about:
    • how Australia has changed in the last hundred years—think about transportation, immigration, communication, music, food, the environment, population, achievements;
    • how Victoria has changed in the last hundred years;
    • what is special about Australia;
    • what is special about Victoria; and
    • how you would like Australia to be in the future.
  2. In groups of four, choose a place in Victoria, ensuring each group picks a different place. Make plans for a Federation Day celebration. Give each team member a job according to their skills. You will need researchers, writers, illustrators and a spokesperson. Think about the following things.
    • What will your community celebrate about Australia’s Federation?
    • What symbols will you use?
    • Will there be a Federation monument?
    • What dignitaries will be invited?
    • Where will the celebration be held?
    • What events will take place?
    • What equipment will be needed?
    • What decorations will be used for the occasion?
    • What music and other performances will there be?
  3. Present your plan to the rest of the class. You can do this in a number of ways, for instance:
    • an illustrated program/brochure inviting the public to the celebrations;
    • a report on how the celebrations will be organised and carried out; or
    • a digital presentation of your plan for the celebration.