Documenting Democracy
Australia's Story
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These documents let us test the way democracy developed by showing who is counted in, who is excluded, and the equalities and inequalities defined by law.

This pathway traces documents affecting Australians and shaping society through laws about trial by jury, convicts, religion, race, education and workers.

There are two paths here:

Flag with the Union Jack and Southern Cross.
Recognising freedoms
Fifty years before the design for the Australian flag was chosen, and a century before its legislative adoption, this flag, with the Union Jack and Southern Cross, was among the symbols used by the Australasian League established in Van Diemen's Land in 1851. The League's vigorous protests at British convicts being sent to the Colony, which had been separated from New South Wales in 1825, succeeded when transportation there ended in 1853. The name of the Colony was changed to Tasmania on 1 January 1856.