Centenary of the Australasian Federal ConventionPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Paul Scott

The photograph of John Downer, Edmund Barton and Richard O`Connor commemorates the centenary of the Adelaide session of the Australasian Federal Convention in 1897.

The Australasian Federal Convention – was held in stages in 1897 and 1898. Unlike the first convention of 1891, the delegates were elected by popular vote. It met first in Adelaide in March 1897, secondly in Sydney in August, and thirdly in Melbourne in the sweltering heat of January 1898. The intervals between the sessions were used for intense debate in the colonial parliaments and for public discussion of the draft constitution.

Since 1891 New Zealand had lost interest in federating with the Australian colonies, and was not represented. In Queensland, the parliament had not passed the necessary legislation, so the northern colony was also unrepresented. In the other five colonies ten delegates from each colony were elected by the people, although Western Australian attendance was sporadic. At Melbourne the convention finally produced a draft constitution which was eventually approved by the people at referendums in the colonies.


Address:46 Pennington Terrace, St Mark's College, Adelaide, 5000
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -34.921394
Long: 138.598653
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Photograph
Monument Theme:Government
Actual Event Start Date:20-March-1897
Actual Event End Date:23-April-1897


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Thursday 17th April, 1997
Front Inscription

Unveiled by the Hon. Alexander Downer, MHR, Minister for Foreign Affairs to mark the centenary of the Adelaide session of the Australasian Federal Convention which met from 20 March to 23 April 1897.

17 April 1997


Source: MA,PS
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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