We are dedicated to celebrating the past, present and future of Australia’s Federation

Foundation 1901 is an organisation dedicated to celebrating the past, present and future of Australia’s Federation, promoting awareness and understanding of its ongoing importance to us all.

We will undertake research, run competitions, offer scholarships, both independently and in partnership with other organisations.

Upcoming activities

In 2015, Foundation 1901 activities will include:

Promoting the bicentenary of the birth of Sir Henry Parkes, his life and his legacy as Australia’s ‘Father of Federation’

‘In Henry’s footsteps’ tour of Warwickshire and Coventry, United Kingdom – January 2015

Re-publication of Henry Parkes’ major works – May 2015

‘Who’s Henry?’ competitionMay 2015 (subject to funding)

Register of Federation Statesmen – Capturing the knowledge of Australia’s High Court Judges, Governors and Governors-General, Premiers and Prime Ministers – October 2015 ongoing

Inaugural Federation Week, 19-25 October 2015 [LINK]

Future activities will commemorate John Downer, Robert Garran, John Forrest, George Reid, Alfred Deakin, Samuel Griffith and Edmund Barton amongst many, many others.

Structure and Governance

Foundation 1901 is a not-for-profit, public company limited by guarantee adopting best practice governance and audit structures, standards and processes.

Funding

Consistent with the core Australian characteristic of self-sufficiency, Foundation 1901 will be funded through majority non-government sources.  Given the national interest of our objectives, we will seek the appropriate taxation arrangements to facilitate philanthropic support, large and small.

The words of Robert Garran

Establishment of Foundation 1901, while important, is a milestone in generating a much broader, longer term national discussion about Australia’s Federation that will, of necessity, include many voices and interests.  In setting our agenda, we draw inspiration from the words of Sir Robert R. Garran, delegate to the Constitutional Conventions of 1897 and 1898 and Australia’s 1st Commonwealth public servant:

“But though the Constitution is much, it must not be supposed to be everything.  It is, in itself, merely the means to an end; merely the dead mechanical framework of national unity.  The life and soul of the union must be breathed into it by the people themselves. When a Constitution has been framed and adopted, the work of Australian union will have been begun, not finished.  The nation will be a nation, not of clauses and sub-clauses, but of men and women; and the destiny of Australia will rest with the Australian people rather than the Australian Constitution.  The work now in hand – the making of a Constitution – is great and important; but it is the beginning not the end”

– Robert Garran (1897) The Coming Commonwealth, p185.

The “union” of which he speaks is Australia’s Federation and the “Constitution” its rule book.

They are owned by all Australians.

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