Australia - a Federal Story

Gerard Carney, Bond University

Document Type Journal Article

Carney, Gerard (2001), Australia - a Federal Story, The National Legal Eagle, November 2001, pp. 13-16.

Copyright ©The Law Society of New South Wales , 2001.

Reproduced with permission.



This year celebrates the centenary of the federation of the six original British colonies in Australia into the Commonwealth of Australia. National and regional celebrations dot the landscape, focusing on both the past and the future, amidst a population of 18 million who are largely unmoved by the achievement. Yet, this milestone provides an opportunity to raise public awareness of the nature of our constitutional system, its successes and failures, and its future.

This essay examines why federation occurred, how it was achieved, the extent to which the expectations of those who promoted it have been disappointed and exceeded, as well as the challenges for the future.