Why observe Federation Day?
The objection is sometimes made that New Year’s Day is “already a holiday”. However, people celebrate on New Year’s Eve, not the first. I’m throwing a BBQ party from 4pm, after everyone has recovered from the previous day’s boozing. Also, it’s not well-known that Australia officially came into being as a nation on 1st January, 1901.
National day is synonymous with independence day. But Australia’s independence was an evolutionary process rather than a single event. It was conceived through negotiation and the ballot box, rather than by blood and war. This legacy of peace and stability has been the hallmark of Australian history. Aaron Paul, ABC. Consider that, when Australia Day comes along soon.
Henry Parkes, Premier of N.S.W., led the campaign for Federation, yet ironically, his colony was the most reluctant, mainly because it was for free-trade while all the other colonies favoured protectionist policies.
Governor Samuel Griffith and Tasmanian Attorney General Andrew Inglis Clarke authored the first draft of the Constitution. John Quick is credited with devising a plan for a series of referenda, urging that Federation be ‘advocated by the citizens and not merely by politicians.’ He also annotized [sic] the Constitution.
There are so many interesting facts about how the Commonwealth of Australia came about. Did you know that the flag above was flown for most of the 19th Century and was regarded as the “Federation Flag”?
Here’s a free copy of my fun 26 question quiz you can do on the 1st of January with your friends. Enjoy!