Parliament House in 1929
On This Day

18 October 1909 - NSW surrendered land for ACT

On this day, New South Wales agreed to surrender approximately 2400 square kms of the state to the Commonwealth for the creation of the Australian Capital Territory

Black and white photo of a portrait of a young man
On This Day

25 July 1839 Henry Parkes arrived in Sydney

Henry Parkes arrived in Sydney on 25 July 1839 on the 'Strathfieldsaye' with his wife, Clarinda. He became known as the Father of Federation

A view of old Parliament House from the driveway

Canberra – the federal capital contest

This record series from the State Archives Collection sheds light on the proud efforts a number of towns, villages and other areas took to present their submissions to become the capital of the new Commonwealth

A crowd of people in a rotunda decorated with streamers

Celebrating federation

The Commonwealth of Australia was proclaimed on 1 January 1901. The Federation Pavilion in Sydney’s Centennial Park was the focus of the inauguration ceremonies and a five mile procession through the decorated streets of Sydney was greeted by large crowds

Federation of Australia - Part 1: 1840-1879

The process to federate the six Australian colonies into the Commonwealth of Australia took over fifty years from its beginnings in the 1840s

Federation of Australia - Part 2: 1880-1900

The 1880s proved to be 'the turning point at which the 'federal idea' found in all the schemes of the previous forty years would be transformed into the Federation movement'

Portrait photo of a man in suit and tie

Federation of Australia - Part 3: 1901-1914

The Commonwealth of Australia came into being on Tuesday 1 January 1901. The colonies became States and the transfer of powers, functions and property to the Commonwealth Government began

Federation timeline

Significant events in the 50 year process to federate the six Australian colonies into the Commonwealth of Australia, 1846-2001

A man sits at a desk in a large office surrounded by bookshelves and a fireplace
On This Day

Henry Parkes ‘Tenterfield Oration’

On 24 October 1889, Sir Henry Parkes, then Premier of NSW, made his famous speech, the ‘Tenterfield Oration’, in favour of Federation