Sir Isaac Isaacs

Sir Isaac Isaacs (1855–1948)
Isaac Isaacs was born in Melbourne, Victoria. He was the first Australian-born governor-general. He was an excellent lawyer, a judge, a Member of Parliament in Victoria and a very clever speaker.
Isaacs worked towards the joining together (federation) of the Australian states and was elected to the Commonwealth Parliament. He wrote laws for the state and Commonwealth governments and he was made a judge of the High Court in 1906. In 1930, he became the chief judge of the High Court and in 1931, governor-general. Many people did not like the appointment of an Australian as governor-general. They said it was against tradition. The King did not want an Australian either, but eventually agreed to it. Isaacs was governor-general until 1936. He was knighted (made a 'Sir') by the king.

A painting of Sir Isaac Isaacs hangs in Parliament House, Canberra. A suburb of Canberra is named after him and his face is on a stamp.

More information on Isaac Isaacs is included on the Stories of Democracy CD-ROM.

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