Australia became an independent nation on 1 January 1901, when the British Parliament passed legislation enabling the six Australian colonies to collectively govern in their own right as the Commonwealth of Australia. It was a remarkable political accomplishment that had taken many years and several referenda to achieve.
"Defining Moments - Federation." National Museum of Australia. 2018.
The colonies of Australia joined to become a federation, the Commonwealth of Australia, on 01 January 1901. The day itself waa celebrated in great style, with official banquets, parties and speeches and parties held by families and friends.
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First Constitutional Convention to draft a federal constitution
First "people's convention" at Corowa
Delegates elected to a representative Constitutional Convention
Referendums on the Constitution held in all colonies
1 January – inauguration of the Commonwealth of Australia
29–30 March – first federal election
9 May – opening of Commonwealth Parliament in Melbourne
Commonwealth Franchise and Commonwealth Electoral Acts
First federal election in accordance with Commonwealth law
On 24 October 1889 Henry Parkes delivered a speech at the Tenterfield School of Arts on the need for the Australian colonies to federate into one nation.
Edmund Barton became Australia’s first Prime Minister on New Year’s Day 1901, at a huge public ceremony in Centennial Park in Sydney.