This year: Australian
History -
from Federation to WWII

Term I
Topic 1 Australia
from Federation to

for a copy of your Tasks this term see
You have 4 separate Tasks this term.They are set out below
with information and sources to help you.

Have a look at
How People lived
from the Kraft Page
and write a letter to a member of your family in Britain at the time .
Working conditions in Australia in the early 1900's
City workers could be involved in
· Service industries such as domestic servants – mostly women
· Commercial e.g. shop assistants
· Manufacturing in factories etc
· Industrial –involving heavy machinery that was often very dangerous

Rural workers were also poorly paid with very long hours and no overtime
In 1900 the countryside was suffering from
· A crippling drought that began in 1895
· An international economic depression caused a severe drop in the price of primary produce such as wheat ,wool and meat
· Many unemployed workers were desperate for work, and willing to accept lower wages in return for a job
· Hours were very long ,from 12 to16 hours a day ,60 hours or more a week
· Shop keepers were forced to stand on their feet for 12 hours straight when they worked.
· Many started at six am and left at six pm, though some stayed til 10pm and walked home, some five kilometres to their home.
· There was no extra pay for longer hours ,time and a half etc ,just regular pay
· The workplace was often unhygienic and workers did not receive much time to rest
· Wages were poor, the minimum wage was called the “basic wage” and calculated what was needed for a man to support a wife and three children
· Women received roughly half the male wage as they were not the “bread-winners” .
See the Harvester Judgement
· Women were expected to get married and have children and devote their life to being a housewife.
· Some unmarried women or poorer women worked in sewing factories and were paid very little. Many worked up to 90 hours a week.
· Children were forced to work at the age of twelve, or earlier.
· Once they had finished school, they were expected to support their families
· Children were sent to work in factories, and there was no minimum age limit for children workers.
· Children workers were employed because of the minimum wages that they earned from their employee and that they could crawl into small spaces and fix machinery easily. Many children died because of this.
The Workers Fight back
1) Why did many urban and rural workers see the need for joining a union?
2) What were the main unions in Australia in the first decades of the 20th century?
3) How many members of the workforce were members of unions?
4) How could unionists improve their position in the workforce?
5) What forces were opposed to this development?
6) How did the workers try and strengthen their position politically?
7) Why were many working people unable to take part in Parliament?
8) What were the main changes a workers party wanted for a new parliament?
9) What type of issues did this party think were important?
10) Why was one of the first laws passed a restrictive immigration act?
11) What institution was established to look after the interests of the workers against the employers?
12) What political party was thus formed?
13) How successful was this party? Why?
Union Jack

In the late 19th century the Colonists of Australia were united by bonds to
most Powerful Empire in the world.
What were the common parts of this culture?
(look at religion, arts, government, sport, entertainment etc )

quoted from a Speech by Dr
Helen Irving, member of the Board of Advisers,
Henry Parkes Foundation,
at the launch of the Foundation
NSW Parliament House,
4 June 1999
( Though the original audience in Tenterfield in 1889 would have heard
the Crimthon thread of Kinthip that runth through uth all...."
Henry Parkth had a pronounced lithp -pronounced "lithp")

"Father of Federation"

Parkes the showman ,revealing his vision

Eureka Flag

Some felt they were united by other newer bonds.
What did this flag represent?


The Uniqueness of the Flora and Fauna made Australian Nationalists feel
What current sporting teams use our animals and plants for their emblems?
Australia led the world in kangaroos ,koalas etc


Irish Catholics felt disconnected with the British and were quite happy with
the thought of being independent from what many regarded as harsh and oppressive rule.
They formed at least 25% of the Australian population.

Religious Map Ireland

  • Ireland itself was divided into the mainly Catholic south and the predominantly Protestant north.
  • Catholics were refused political rights in Ireland and had their own school systems which were continued in Australia .

  • Any plans for independence were complicated by extremists from the Irish Republican Army Sein Feinn and the pro-British Ulster Unionists in the north.

  • Only recently ,in the last decade, has peace been finally achieved.
On a blank map of Australiablank_Aust3.JPG

( if you want a hard copy of this one )

  • Draw in the rail link between the two major cities in Australia at the end of the 19th Century.
  • Connect the link between the north and south that represents the
Overland Telegraph.
  • What did this mean for communications in Australia ?

  • Draw a Spiky Collar around the mainland that will represent the idea of
a Common Defence and a Policy of Protection for all the colonies.

Then glue final map into your exercise books

White Australia

In 1900 :
China had 467 million people
Asia in 1900

India 250 million

Africa 250 milli on
The "Dark Continent"

Why was Africa known as "The Dark Continent"?
South East Asia 80 million
South America 60 million

Japan 45 million
......while Australia had less than 4 million ………
Australia 1900

In 1901, 2908303 people (77.2%) counted in Australia were Australian-born and 857576 (22.8%) stated that they were born overseas. ...
Most Australians were intensely concerned to preserve a
White Anglo-Saxon (British) nation
A Christian Protestant European culture was seen as preferable to any alternative.

White Australia

People and Politics in the first decades of the 20th Century is from a very comprehensive Department site called "Teaching Heritage"

Cartoon from the Bulletin
Yellow Terror

What message was the cartoonist making with each of these racist drawings?
How did Australians at the time NOT find these cartoons offensive?

Look at one of the first Laws passed by the new Commonwealth Government

and a document from
Williams, M.
Chinese Settlement in New South Wales 1999

Alfred Deakin was the first Australian Prime mInister .Here is a speech he gave quoted from
Macintyre, "And be one people": Alfred Deakin’s Federal Story 1995

The ANA were the Australian Natives Association.
What do you think they had to do with Australian aborigines ? Why ?

1900 Medal
obverse of medal

Which "Australians" were referred to in the first pendant?
Why did people at the time NOT find this message racist?
What was important about the Three P's in the second pendant?

for more information you can see Towards Federation and Federation and White Australia

Before the emergence of a Labor Party representing Australian workers ,politics in the first few decades of the 20th century were divided between those who believed in the economic ideas of Free Trade or Protection for the future of Australia .
Here is a table I made up which I thought would be useful for you.
If you come across any more useful information let me know.

Free trade v Protection

A government that believes in
of the FITTEST”

wants to set up their own industry
-With some HELP

Dominant idea in expanding
British Empire in 19th Century
“We are part of a Big System”

We want to compete with the best
We are every bit as good as them

Laissez faire” idea is to leave
things (in business) alone.
Perfect free trade =all human
needs achieved

Newly emerging economies e.g.
Victoria and USA disagreed –
protect local industry by putting
taxes on imports

“Liberals” or progressives think
that Protection is possible to
ESTABLISH industry but
to keep it up
= create vested

Benevolent governments want to
help the people by allowing them to
compete internationally

Without Tariffs and
Import Duties =
lower prices for goods

With Protection =Tariffs
and Taxes
=Revenue for Govts
Cost of goods higher
but the money stays here

FT of goods means that your
own goods can then be sold
overseas WITHOUT tariffs
and taxes

Protectionism a response to
Other Countries use of
Tariffs and Import Duties

FT =society is better off ,richer
in money terms

The Long Term view is that
society is better off under Protection

Specialise in what we are
good at

A state needs to develop economically
to compete with the rest of the world
This allows Australia to be
Self Sufficient

If we don’t impose tariffs then
other countries will do the same

Each country is only really
interested in its own advantages

FT for all trade between
the states

Protection for Australian
industries in regard to overseas

Task 1
Using the information above and what you have learned elsewhere write a response explaining
WHY the Australian colonies combined to form a united nation.
In your answer give at least
6 reasons
FOR Federation and
4 PROBLEMS that had to
be overcome.

Write a paragraph for each of the 10 points you mention.
You can import 2 or more diagrams in your answer.

Submit your response on A4 paper with a proper title page.

The Australian Constitution


Speaker of House

Presiding officer in House of Representatives

President of House

Presiding officer in Senate


Geographic districts of Australian States with
approximately equal numbers of voters


Another name for electorates

One Vote One Value

Basis of our voting system ,so that rural and urban
areas are equal

Preferential Voting System

Voters list candidates in order of preference.

Formal Voting

A proper vote-counted according to the voting

Allocation of preferences

When a candidate is eliminated the next preference
is then allocated to the other candidates

Lower House

Another name for House of Representatives
–Based on British House of Commons

Upper House

Another name for Senate –Based on British
House of Lords


The relationship of the power of both Houses


Is passed by a majority in Both Houses

Two Party Preferred Vote

After all other candidates votes are eliminated
the last two are left and one can form a majority

Number of Electorates

Determined by population

Electoral Commissioner

Officer presiding over the election –how it is
conducted and counted

Supply Bills

Budget Bills can only be introduced by the Lower
House by a majority party (the government)


Members of a government selected by the Prime
Minister to take charge of various government

Leader of the Opposition

Leader minority party in the lower house – if he
wins enough seats after an election he can then
form a majority and thus a new government

Majority Party in Lower House
after election

Invited by Governor General to form a Government


Areas of the country side


City areas or suburbs-
from Latin urbs =city

Instant Run Off

If no candidate wins a majority ,the candidate
with the least votes has his preferences
allocated and he is eliminated

Minimum of 5 electorates

Under the constitution regardless of population the smallest number of seats a state can have in the Lower House

Task 2 Australian Constitution

Using the above table open

and re-arrange the cells to the correct position.
Then print out a hard copy of the correct ,completed table and glue into your


Female Franchise Granted
Year in Which State Female Suffrage was Granted -
For Commonwealth Female vote =1902

South Australia


Western Australia


Commonwealth of Australia


New South Wales








Federation Statistics :
75 seats 36 senators
2007 20 m 150 seats 76 senators
= members of House of Representatives
= members of Senate

NSW 1901 and 2007

New South Wales -members of the Reps and Senators in the first Federal Parliament and now (as at 2007)
Vic 1901 and 2007

Victoria -members of the Reps and Senators in the first Parliament and now
QLD 1901 and 2007

Queensland -members of the Reps and Senators in the first Parliament and now
SA 1901 and 2007

South Australia -members of the Reps and Senators in the first Parliament and now
WA 1901 and 2007

Western Australia -members of the Reps and Senators in the first Parliament and now
TAS 1901 and 2007

Tasmania -members of the Reps and Senators in the first Parliament and now

ACT -members of the Reps and Senators in the first Parliament and now.
Why were there no people recorded in 1901?


Northern Territory -members of the Reps and Senators in the first Parliament and now.
Why was this Territory not given statehood in 1901?

Task 3
answer these questions on the above information ( in your book)
1) Make up a table showing the states and territories of Australia and the
number of members for the Lower and Upper Houses in both 1901 and
2) Why was 2007 chosen as the most recent date?
3) Find the current population of each state and territory.
4) Which states have had the greatest growth in the last 100 years?
5) Are there any states that have not shown any significant growth?
6) Which states have more power in the upper house? Why?
7) Why were the colours green and red chosen for the Australian houses of
8) What has to happen to change the constitution?
9) What special consideration is there for the smaller states in this vote?
10) For a change to the law (in question 8) what two special things have to
11) Which states allowed women to vote in 1901 ?
Timeline Australian
events 1900-1914



Jan 1 Adelaide: Electric street lights installed
April Bubonic Plague in Brisbane
Jul 22 Paris: Australian swimmer Freddy Lane wins 2 golds medals at the 2nd Olympic Games
Jul 27 Melbourne: Mass meeting at Town Hall in support of Women's Suffrage
Jul 28 UK requests Australian troops for Boxer Rebellion in China
Sep 13 Melbourne: 4000 people attend premiere ofSalvation Army multimedia presentation "Soldiers of the Cross"
Sep 14 Hobart: Legislation passed to introduce adult male suffrage
Sep 17 Queen Victoria signs document to create the Commonwealth of Australia
Sep 30 Sydney: 103 people killed by Bubonic Plague
Dec Kalgoorlie: Goldfields Water Supply Scheme completed
Dec Roma, Qld: Bore yields Australia's first natural gas


Jan 1 Australia celebrates Federation
Jan 22 Edward VII new King after the death of Victoria
Mar 29 First Federal election. Sir Edmund Barton (Protectionist) becomes Prime Minister
April First ALP Caucus meeting
May 8 Federal Labor Party formed with John Christian Watson as leader
May 9 Melbourne: Opening of first Federal Parliament at the Exhibition Building
Sep 3 Federal Flag (Union Jack & Southern Cross) flies above Parliament
Nov 22 Vic National Council of Women forms
Dec 23 New White Australia Policy test
Dec My Brilliant Career by Miles Franklin published


Jan 30 Anglo-Japanese Naval Treaty causes great concern in Australia

Feb 13 Return of Aboriginal remains from overseas museums to Tasmania
Feb 27 Pretoria, South Africa (Boer War): British execute Breaker Morant for having shot Boers who had surrendered
Apr 09 Federal Franchise Act defines who can vote. Aborigines are excluded
Aug 01 New Idea published
Sep 14 Brisbane: Dame Nellie Melba begins national tour
Nov 20 Lord Tennyson arrives as Governor General
Dec 26 Brisbane accorded City status
Dec Sydney: Ada Evans becomes the first woman to pass Law exam (the Bar) in Australia but is not allowed to practice
Dec Billy Hughes founds the Waterside Workers' Federation


Jan 24 Water pipeline to Kalgoorlie opens
Jun 23 First federal postage stamps issued
Sep 24 Sir Edmund Barton resigns as Prime Minister to move to the new High Court. Alfred Deakin (Protectionist) becomes 2nd Prime Minister
Oct 06 Melbourne: High Court of Australia opens


Jan 01 Alfred Felton dies, leaving a bequest to the National Gallery of Victoria, the largest bequest ever made to the public in any Australian City
Apr 24 First (minority) Labor Government underJohn Watson
Aug 17 Watson resigns. Free Trade leader George Reid forms Coalition Ministry
Jul 08 Sydney: Electric street lights installed
Sep 02 First Australian Golf Open tournament
Nov 2 Melbourne: Lawn Tennis Association established
Dec 15 Commonwealth Conciliation & Arbitration Act


Jan 24 Qld: Women granted the right to vote
Apr 02 Hobart: New GPO opens
May 03 Brisbane: an estimated 40,000 people contract Dengue Fever
May 14 Perth: Neck chains for Aboriginal prisoners banned
Jul 01 Sydney: First cinema opens
Jul 05 Alfred Deakin becomes Prime Minister for second time as the head of a Liberal Protectionist Government following the resignation of George Reid on June 30
Aug 01 Melbourne: Grata Greig becomes the first woman admitted to the Australian Bar
Dec 15 Melbourne: Commonwealth Court of Conciliation & Arbitration opens

Feb 06 Sydney: Bondi Surf Lifesaving Club established
Apr 30 Melbourne: Brighton to St Kilda electric tram line opens
Sep 01 PNG officially under Australian control
Dec 23 First demonstration Bondi Lifesaving Reel


Jan 03 Bondi: First life saved with new lifesaving reel is 9-year-old Charles Kingsford Smith
Feb 13 Northern Territory transferred from South Australian to Commonwealth jurisdiction
Jul 10 Telephone trunk line opens between Sydney and Melbourne
Jul 23 Norman Brookes, along with Anthony Wilding, wins Davis Cup for Australasia.
Earlier in the year he was the first Australian to win the Wimbledon Singles Championship.

Aug 19 West Australia: 2,036 mile-long rabbit-proof fence completed after 5 years construction
Nov 08 The principle of the Basic Wage is established after the "Harvester Case" and forms the basis for wage
fixing for the next 60 years


Feb 14 Melbourne: The Age newspaper proprietor, David Syme, dies
Mar 10 Antarctica: Mawson and David scale Mt Erebus
May 07 Coat of Arms granted to Commonwealth of Australia
Jun 25 West Australia Art Gallery opens
Oct 08 Canberra selected as the national capital
Nov 13 Andrew Fisher becomes new Labor Prime Minister
Perth: Subiaco Oval first used for Australian Rules Football

First season of professional Rugby League competition

Jan 16 Mawson, David and Mackay reach Magnetic South Pole
Mar 31 Victorian Adult Suffrage Act grants women the right to vote, the last state in Australia to do so
Apr 29 Deakin becomes Prime Minister for the 3rd time after Governor General refuses double dissolution of
Fisher Labor Government

May 24 Broken Hill: Lengthy miners strike ends
Jun 2 Deakin forms Liberal government
Jul 23 Victoria: Sir Frederick Holder, Speaker in the House of Representatives, collapses and dies after an
all night sitting

Dec 22 Darwin: Lord Kitchener arrives in Australia to advise on defence


Jan 11 LordKitchener arrives in Melbourne
May 6 death of King Edward , new King is George V
Apr 29 Fisher new Labor Prime Minister
Jan 22 Australian High Commission established in London
Mar 18 Melbourne: Houdini flies plane at Diggers Rest
Jul 20 Victorian Football League (VFL) introduces the "free kick"
Nov 25 Naval Defence Act establishes the Royal Australian Navy


Jan 01 ACT established
Apr 03 Population of Australia reaches 4,455,005
June Duntroon Military College opens
Jun 01 University of Queensland opens
Oct 06 Compulsory voting introduced
Dec 02 Hobart: Mawson expedition leaves to map Antarctica
Dec 22 Commonwealth Bank established Commonwealth Lighthouse Act


Jan 31 Brisbane: General Strike, the first of its kind in the country, following suspension of tramway employees over the right to wear union member badges. The strike lasts until March 6
Mar 01 Sydney: England wins 5th Test and The Ashes 4-1
Mar 21 Adelaide Steamship liner Koombana sinks off Port Hedland during a cyclone. All 150 people on board perish
Jul 06 Geelong: First Australian public telephone exchange installed
Jul 15 Stockholm: Fanny Durack wins a gold medal for swimming in the 100 metres at the Olympics
Jul 15 Commonwealth Bank opens as a savings bank
Sep 01 The Wattle is declared Australia's national flower
Oct 15 Queenstown, Tas: Mt Lyell fire entombs 51 miners for 3 days before they are found alive. 42 others perish
Nov 12 Australian Women's Weekly launched
Queenstown, Tas; Opening of Mt Lyell mine


Jun 24 Joseph Cook new Liberal Prime Minister
Jul 05 Sydney quarantined as smallpox epidemic sweeps the city
Aug 19 Frank Hurley releases Home of the Blizzard, a documentary film about the Australasian Antarctic Expedition


Apr 09 Melbourne: GJ Coles opens a new variety store in Collingwood
Jul 18 First airmail delivery from Melbourne to Sydney
Jul 25 Telephone link established between Melbourne and Adelaide
Jun 28 Assassination of Austrian Crown Prince Franz Ferdinand starts a series of crises that lead to start of hostilities in Europe
Aug 05 World War I begins. Australia offers Britain 20,000 troops.
Film version of Robbery Under Arms
Australia to support the Mother Country "To the Last Man and the Last Shilling"

Sept 17 Fisher new Labor Prime Minister
Nov 09 Cocos Islands: HMAS Sydney destroys German cruiser Emden
Dec 26 Melbourne: Premiere of the Tait Brothers film The Story of the Kelly Gang

For your own Hard Copy of Timeline see

Task 4 Timeline Questions

  1. What sports were important to Australians in the period studied?
  2. Who were the reigning British monarchs in the period 1900-1910?
  3. Why did the first Federal Parliament not meet in Canberra?
  4. What were the major health problems facing Australia in this time?
  5. What was the first flag that flew over Parliament and when?
  6. What were the stages in the granting of male and female suffrage?
  7. What overseas military events included Australian troops in this period?
  8. What were the various cultural and artistic milestones during this time?
  9. What were the major economic and infrastructure improvements in this period?
  10. List the Prime ministers to 1914 and the party they belonged to.
  11. What was the total time each party was in government?
  12. Where and when was the first Australian parliament held?
  13. What mention is made of Aboriginal Australians in this time?
  14. What were the major legal developments in the period studied?
  15. How did the establishment of a uniquely Australian military organisation take place?
  16. Who was Australia’s prime minister upon the outbreak of WWI?
  17. What famous Australian was rescued by Surf LifeSavers when he was a small boy?

For Your Hard Copy of Questions see

Open your own copy of this file and word -process your answers in another colour.
Then print your hard copy of the completed exercise and glue into your books.