Investigation 4

How should Western Australians commemorate Federation now and into the future?

Federation was an important milestone in Australia’s and Western Australia’s history. Its significance has been commemorated in various ways over the years. In 2001, for example, to mark the Commonwealth’s one hundredth anniversary, the Australian Government issued special Centenary of Federation coins and stamps. However, we do not have a Federation monument or celebrate Federation as a special day, such as the national holidays of Australia Day and Anzac Day.

Use your knowledge and imagination to think of ways in which Western Australians could commemorate Federation—now and into the future. You might feel that the celebrations should have something in common with the celebrations that took place in 1901. Or, when you consider how Western Australia 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 Western Australian.


  1. Imagine your classroom 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 and also 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 and achievements;
    • how Western Australia has changed in the last hundred years;
    • what is special about Australia;
    • what is special about Western Australia; and
    • how you would like Australia to be in the future.
  2. In groups of four, pick a place in Western Australia (ensure each group picks a different place). Make plans for a Federation Day celebration. Give each team member a job according to their skills. Think about the following things.
    • What will your community celebrate about Australia’s Federation?
    • What symbols will you be using?
    • Will there be a Federation monument?
    • What important people 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:
    • illustrated program/brochure inviting the public to the celebrations;
    • report on how the celebrations will be organised and carried out; or
    • digital presentation of your plan for the celebration.