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Snapshots – Federation

Video duration: 2 min 39

Transcript

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Opening credits showing images of the Parliament in action.

Title: Snapshots of Parliament: Federation.

Music
Graphic of a poster advertising The Commonwealth of Australia Inaugural Celebrations at Sydney. Narrator: On 1 January 1901 Australians celebrated not only a new year but the birth of our new nation.

A panoramic black and white photograph of the celebrations in Centennial Park in Sydney.

Black and white photograph of Edmund Barton.

Narrator: A hundred thousand people gathered in Centennial Park to watch as Queen Victoria's representative, the Governor-General Lord Hopetoun, proclaimed the Commonwealth of Australia. They cheered as Edmund Barton was sworn in, as Australia's first Prime Minister.

Text: Before 1901

Image of a sailing ship.

Map of Australia showing the six colonies.

Images of the colonial parliaments, men dressed in nineteenth century clothing, and bags of money. Images of a one penny stamp with graphics of steam trains on it.

Narrator: Before 1901 Australia was not a nation. Rather, it was six separate British colonies. They were like six different countries. Each one had its own Parliament, laws, and small defence force. They each taxed goods brought in from the other colonies. They also issued their own stamps, and even built different railway systems, which made travel across the continent very difficult.

Black and white photograph of men dressed in nineteenth century clothing, graphic thought bubble with a map of Australia.

Black and white photograph of women dressed in nineteenth century clothing, graphic thought bubble with a map of Australia with the colonial borders disappearing.

Black and white photograph of men in uniform with musical instruments, graphics of symbols including a shield, a money bag, a customs officer, and a globe.

Narrator: The people living in these colonies began to identify themselves as 'Australians', and started to think the colonies would work better if they united as a nation. They felt a national government should look after things like defence, trade, immigration and foreign policy.
Black and white photograph showing the delegates at a constitutional convention. Narrator: During the 1890s, representatives from each colony met to create a set of rules for how this new nation would work. These rules are known as the Constitution.
The tally board for a referendum held in Western Australia. Narrator: In 1899 and 1900 the people in each colony agreed to the Constitution by voting in referendums. It was the first time in history that a group of people voted to create a new nation.
The British flag. Narrator: But the colonies were still under the law-making power of Britain. Before they could unite they needed the approval of the British Parliament.

Photograph of Westminster Palace in London, the home of the British Parliament.

The front page of the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1901.

Narrator: In July 1900 the British Parliament passed a law - the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act. The six colonies became the six states of Australia and federal Parliament was created. This is known as federation.
Graphics of fireworks over a photograph of the Ocean Wave Hotel. Narrator: On 1 January 1901 federation was celebrated across Australia with parades, street parties, picnics and fireworks.

Black and white photograph of members of the first federal Parliament.

Image of Tom Robert's painting of the opening of Parliament in Melbourne.

Title: Parliamentary Education Office. Copyright Commonwealth of Australia 2015.

Parliamentary Education Office logo

Parliamentary Education Office website: www.peo.gov.au

Narrator: The first federal Parliament met later that year in Victoria's Parliament House. Australians were ready to unite as 'one people, under one flag' with 'one destiny'.