Federation (1901)

Before 1 January 1901 ‘Australia’ the nation did not really exist. Although Gondwanaland, as the great southern land mass was known in Europe, has been around for millions of years, and Aboriginal people have lived on the land longer than anyone can remember, ‘Australia’ the nation is very young indeed. The nation of Australia was created when six separate colonies became states and were united – that is, federated. By working together the states could become stronger than separate colonies alone. They would pool their resources to look after defence, immigration, local industry and trade. Together they could achieve common safety, common population management – and a commonwealth. Previously they had tended to compete with each other, sometimes to a ridiculous extent. Take this example of what it was like travelling between colonies before Federation. A family was travelling interstate from Adelaide on an express train. When they arrived in Melbourne they had their luggage searched at customs in front of railway porters and other travellers. Many countries had to go through dreadful civil wars before they achieved nationhood. Gradually, deliberately and peacefully the people of the six separate colonies chose to be a single nation.

This project has been supported by the National Council for the Centenary of Federation.1901-2001 Centenary of Federation

Centenary of Federation Play Kit homepage

HistorySmiths Pty Ltd, 1999
Copyright information