Who am I?
THE FATHER OF FEDERATION
Good morning Year 5 today we are looking for a famous person that made his greatest contribution in shaping our colony as a politician. We are playing who am I? Can you guess who? Please put your hands on your head when you know who this is!
For over 40 years I served as a politician and introduced a number of very important initiatives that are still relevant today. In 1873, the settlement of Currajong was renamed after me - in my honor!
I am most famous and well known as the Father of Federation, as I was the politician who was the most vocal and forceful in pushing for the Federation of Australia's states that is the process by which the six separate British self-governing colonies of QLD, NSW, VIC, TAS, SA and WA formed one nation.
My vision was to build a just and fair society with equality for all people through a democratically elected government with everyone educated and aware of their rights, responsibilities and with equal opportunities to participate.
I am best remembered for my famous Tenterfield Oration, delivered at the small rural town of Tenterfield in October 1889. In this speech, I campaigned heavily for Federation of the six Australian colonies. Tenterfield was selected as the place to make my stand because it was part of New South Wales but a long distance away from Sydney, which made trade hard. It was closer to the border of Queensland where the trade centre of Brisbane was located.
However, despite being closer to Brisbane than Sydney, the town was severely disadvantaged by the steep tariffsimposed on the transportation of goods across the border to Queensland. As such, my promotion of Federation was based on the fact that it would enable free trade across the borders.
Such was the importance of my speech, it actually formed the basis of the Australian Constitution, which is the legal framework for how Australia is governed, and it can only be changed by referendum. From 1861 until my death in 1896, I fought tirelessly for Federation.
I was elected to the New South Wales Parliament in 1854 and served five terms as Premier between 1872 and 1891. It was during this time that I laid the foundation for the constitution of the federated Australia.
I was a strong believer in the democratic rights of all people and as such was heavily involved in the development of democracy so that all men could vote in the democratic election process. I also supported women being given the opportunity to vote although this apparently occurred after my death.