About Us

We, the people of Australia ….

In Australia, we vote to maintain or change our governments or our whole system of governance known as ‘the Federation’.  We, the people of Australia collectively are the only ones who have the right to keep it, tinker with or ditch it.

The rulebook for our Federation is the Commonwealth Constitution.

We don’t change our Federation very often. Depending of your perspective, that may or may not be a good thing.

What do you want to do with it?

Foundation 1901 is an organisation dedicated to commemorating 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.

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.

Establishment of the Foundation, while important, is a starting point in generating a much broader, longer term and permanent national discussion about Australia’s Federation that will, of necessity, include many voices and interests.  

The words of Robert Garran

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:

Robert Garran
Robert Garran. National Library of Australia. https://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-161882271/view

“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.

We, the people of Australia collectively ‘own’ them both. 

 

I ask again, what do you want to do with them – keep, tinker or ditch?