Documenting Democracy
Australia's Story
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Statute of Westminster Adoption Act 1942 (Cth)
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Timeline 1927–1951
1927    First Commonwealth Parliament House opened in Canberra

Australian Loan Council established to coordinate borrowing by State and Commonwealth governments
1928    Murder of Aboriginal people at Coniston prompts Commonwealth report on conditions in the Northern Territory

Referendum to add Section 105A to the Australian Constitution successful
1929    Commonwealth constructs railway from Oodnadatta to Alice Springs and from Darwin to Birdum
1931    Sir Isaac Isaacs becomes the first Australia-born Governor-General
1932    New South Wales Governor dismisses Premier Jack Lang for defying Commonwealth ruling on repayment of overseas loans
1933    Western Australians vote to secede from the Commonwealth

Commonwealth Grants Commission established to consider applications from States for grants under Section 96 of the Constitution

Australian Antarctic Territory declared by Britain

ACT Supreme Court Act 1933 (Cth)
Creating a court
1934    Commonwealth government refuses entry to Czechoslovakian Communist, Egon Kisch, on the basis of the Dictation Test, given in Scottish Gaelic

Secession Act passed in Western Australia, subsequently rejected by British Parliament

Constitution Act 1934 (Tas)
Guarantee of religious and civil liberty for Tasmanians
1937    Commonwealth Government refused to forward to the King a petition requesting an Aboriginal representative in the House of Representatives
1938    Sesquicentenary celebrations of British settlement of New South Wales – 'day of mourning' organised by Aboriginal people

The Federal Capital Territory is renamed the Australian Capital Territory
1939    Australia joins Britain in declaration of war on Germany
1940    Australia declares war on Italy

Communist Party of Australia outlawed

Australia's first diplomatic posts set up in Washington, Tokyo and Ottawa
1941    After Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour, Australia declares war on Japan
1942    Statute of Westminster Adoption Act 1942 (Cth)
Australian law comes of age

Japanese air raids on Darwin, Katherine, Townsville, Broome and Wyndham and submarine attacks in Newcastle and Sydney harbours and on shipping along eastern coastline

Commonwealth takes over income tax as wartime measure
1943    Dame Dorothy Tangney (Senate) and Dame Edith Lyons (House of Representatives) first women elected to Federal Parliament
1945    War ends; United Nations established at conference in San Francisco – feminist activist Jessie Street and eighteen men comprise Australian delegation led by Herbert Vere ('Doc') Evatt
1946    Referendum to add Section 15.xxiiiA to the Australian Constitution successful
1947    Northern Territory Legislative Council established
1948    Nationality and Citizenship Act 1948 (Cth)
Announcing the birth of the Australian citizen

Representation Act 1948 (Cth) increases House of Representatives from 75 to 122 seats (and the Senate from 36 to 60 seats). The ACT has a Member in the House of Representatives for the first time, but without full voting rights until 1966
1950    Australian troops sent to Korean War
1951    Assisted migration arrangements with Italy, then Germany, Greece and Austria

60,000 BC to 1836  |  1837 to 1899 |  1900 to 1926 |  1927 to 1951 |  1952 to 2001 |  2002 onwards