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True Believers: The Story of the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party

This is the text of the speech delivered by Kim Beazley, Leader of the Federal Opposition, at the launch of “True Believers”.

The book, edited by John Faulkner and Stuart Macintyre, records the history of the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party.

It was launched at State Parliament House, Melbourne, as part of the Centenary of Federation celebrations.

Text of Opposition Leader Kim Beazley’s speech launching “True Believers”.

True Believers CoverFormer Prime Ministers, parliamentary colleagues, book-writers, book-editors, and book-readers, ladies and gentlemen:

I am delighted to launch this book, an excellent production that has been a long time in the making.

And I’d like to welcome back – from the literary world – our much-loved and much-respected John Faulkner who laboured so greatly, with co-author Stuart Macintyre, and so many others to produce this truly impressive book. John and Stuart assembled some of the most highly skilled, gnarled and feisty commentators and analysis of Australian political life for this book. [Read more…]

Sir William Deane: Centenary Of Federation Speech

This is the text of the speech delivered by the Governor-General, Sir William Deane, at Centennial Park in Sydney for the Centenary of Federation ceremony.

Sir William DeaneThe opening words of the national anthem we have just sung tell us to rejoice.

And so we should. For we have much to celebrate as we recall the coming together, exactly one hundred years ago today, of the six Australian colonies to “be one people”.

We all remember our gratitude and pride in Australia during the recent Olympic and Paralympic Games. We bring that same grateful pride to this celebration of our nation’s 100th birthday. [Read more…]

Sir William Deane: Centenary Of Federation Speech

This is the speech delivered by the Governor-General, Sir William Deane, to commemorate the Centenary of the Proclamation of Federation.

The Governor-General read a message from the Queen and initiated the celebrations of Australia’s Centenary of Federation, at a ceremony in Centennial Park, Sydney.

  • Listen to Sir William Deane’s speech (6m)

Sir William DeaneWe come together to Centennial Park to commemorate the proclamation of our Federation, at this place, one hundred years ago.

Together, we represent all Australians, across all States and Territories.

We also represent, as their heirs and beneficiaries, the four million people of the six Australian colonies who, “relying on the blessing of Almighty God”, came together as the Commonwealth of Australia on the First of January 1901. [Read more…]

Federation Commemoration Underway In Sydney

Federation celebrations are underway today in Sydney.

At Centennial Park, the scene of the Federation Proclamation in 1901, all State Premiers and Governors have joined with the Prime Minister, Opposition Leader and Governor-General to sign a commemorative document and unveil plaques.

The Governor-General, Sir William Deane, addressed the gathering and read a message from Australia’s Head of State, Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain.

Deane used the opportunity to again press the cause of reconciliation with Australia’s indigenous population. He referred to the provisions in the 1901 Constitution which denied citizenship and basic human rights to Aborigines, and called for 2001 to be a year of continuing efforts to promote reconciliation. [Read more…]

John Howard’s Centenary Of Federation Message

This is the text of Prime Minister John Howard’s Centenary of Federation Message.

Prime Minister John Howard’s Centenary of Federation Message.

Prime Minister John HowardAs we start the celebrations marking 100 years of Australian nationhood I am delighted at the many messages of congratulations that have come from around the world.

Recognition of the Australian achievement over the past century has come from some of our closest neighbours along with countries from all regions of the globe. [Read more…]

As 21st Century Begins… Australian Federation One Hundred Years Old Today

The Australian Federal political system is one hundred years old today.

Sydney's Centennial ParkThe arrangement whereby powers are divided between a central government and six states came into being on January 1, 1901.

Federation came after a series of referendums in each of the six states where the Australian voters of the time – mainly men – supported the most significant political change in the country’s white history.

A century on, the Constitution that took effect in 1901 has remained substantially unchanged. Only 8 successful referendums have been carried by a vote of the people and none of these dramatically altered the constitutional arrangements agreed upon in the 1890s. [Read more…]

John Howard: Four Distinct And Enduring Australian Values

This is the text of a speech by Prime Minister John Howard to the Melbourne Press Club.

In the speech, Howard outlined a series of “values” he said underlined his government’s approach. He said these values are “self reliance, a fair go, pulling together, and having a go”.

As the centenary of Federation approaches, he said they were “four distinct and enduring Australian values”.

John HowardIntroduction

In only a few short weeks, Australia will celebrate a century of nationhood. A century during which only 4 generations fashioned a unique culture, created a decent, tolerant and cohesive society, built a thriving modern economy, nurtured some of the finest democratic traditions ever practised and earned gratitude and respect from nations around the world.

And it was the century when our distinctive national character was formed, marked by good humour, a sense of fair play, generosity of spirit and independence.

Despite the distance travelled, we approach the Centenary of Federation confronting many of the same broad issues as faced our forebears a hundred years ago. [Read more…]

Victorian Parliament To Be Venue For Commemorative Federation Sitting

The Victorian Parliament in joint sitting today passed a motion inviting the Federal Parliament to convene in Spring Street on 10 May 2001 for a Commemorative Federation sitting.

Motion moved by the Premier, Mr Steve Bracks.

“That this Joint Sitting of the Legislative Council and Legislative Assembly of the Parliament of Victoria invites the President and Members of the Senate and the Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives to convene at the Royal Exhibition Buildings, Carlton, on 9 May 2001, for the Joint Commemorative Ceremonial Federation Sitting and Commemoration Ceremony, and at Parliament House, Melbourne, on 10 May 2001, for the Commemorative Federation Sitting of each House of the Commonwealth Parliament and conveys its best wishes for the success of the said meetings that will mark the centenary of the first sittings of the Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia.”

[Read more…]

Paul Keating’s Speech At The 1893 Corowa Federation Conference Centenary

This is Prime Minister Paul Keating’s speech at the Centenary Dinner of the 1893 Corowa Constitutional Convention.

Text of Prime Minister Paul Keating’s speech at the Centenary Dinner in Corowa.

It is a great pleasure to be in this very beautiful, historic, classic Australian town. It is particularly good to be here to join in the commemoration of the moment a hundred years ago when Corowa was host to one of the more important gatherings in our nation’s history: a meeting which, in a combination of national idealism and equally characteristic pragmatism, helped propel Australia towards nationhood. Enough of the Victorian architecture has been preserved, enough families have remained, enough memories handed down for Corowa to still speak eloquently of the past. [Read more…]