Documenting Democracy
Australia's Story
Choose a pathway
These documents built on the foundations to define the ways colonial parliaments and courts developed the democratic forms emerging during the second half of the 19th century. They blazed the trail following Federation and reveal the constitutional shaping of the Commonwealth, the States and the Northern Territory to the end of the 20th century.

Follow the documents in:

  • the colonial trail to plot the various ways colonial parliaments and courts developed

  • the Federal trail to look through the documents shaping the institutions of law and government in the states, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory since Federation

  • the Commonwealth trail to trace the emergence of the Commonwealth of Australia from colonies to nation

This poster featured the six Colonial Premiers.
Federal trail
This poster, featuring the six Colonial Premiers, was a voter's commemorative certificate recording the successful result of Victoria's final Federation referendum held on 27 July 1899 – of a total of 163 783 voters, 152 653 voted for the Constitution Bill and Federation. The voter presented with this certificate was Arthur A Calwell, father of the future Leader of the Australian Labor Party.