Discover the story behind Federation in Australia with this introductory video.
Begin your exploration of Federation with this short introduction. Find out the arguments for Federation and the process that led to the creation of Australia.
On 1 January 1901, 6 separate British colonies—New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia—joined together to form a new country—Australia. This is called Federation.
National Library of Australia, an13117280-22
This black and white photo is of a group of older children in 1901. They are dressed in elaborate costumes to celebrate Australia's Federation. The costumes highlight Australia's British heritage. A large Union Jack is being held by one of the group.
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Punch, National Museum of Australia. Photo: Dragi Markovic
In the centre of a ring of kangaroos stands a lion wearing a green jacket and carrying a cricket bat. His cap is printed with a Union Jack. The kangaroos wear blue and white stiped jackets with a yellow waist band. They are printed with 'New South Wales', 'Queensland' and 'Victoria'. An umpire watches on. Printed at the bottom is: 'Combine Aust! Umpire Punch: "You've done jolly well by combination in cricket field, and now you're going to federate at home. Bravo, boys!"'
Sporting union predated federation. In 1877 an intercolonial cricket team represented Australia in the first test match against England
Did you know?
On 1 January 1901, many Australians celebrated the creation of their new country with parades, fireworks and street decorations. In Sydney, 100 000 people watched the first national government being sworn in. This is the same number of people who watch an AFL or NRL grand final!