Alfred Deakin

Alfred Deakin (1856–1919)
Alfred Deakin was born in Melbourne, Victoria. He was Australia's second prime minister. He believed that governments should try new ideas and improve the lives of Australians.
Deakin worked as a lawyer and a writer. He was elected to the Victorian Parliament in 1879 and 1880. He introduced laws that improved conditions for workers in shops and factories.

Deakin believed that the Australian colonies should join together (federate) and become one nation. He was a powerful speaker and gave many speeches in favour of Australia becoming one nation. He was elected to the first Commonwealth Parliament and became the first attorney-general (the minister in charge of laws and courts) in 1901. He became prime minister in 1903 when Edmund Barton resigned.

While Deakin was prime minister, old age pensions were started and Canberra was selected as the national capital. He was prime minister three times, his final term ending in 1910.

A suburb of Canberra, an electorate (voting area) in Victoria and a stamp honour his work.  

More information on Alfred Deakin is included on the Stories of Democracy CD-ROM.  

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