The Colony - Presented By Madeline
The road to federation - Presented By Jonah
Inquiry Question: What were the main events in your colony in the lead up to federation?
Inquiry Question: What were the celebrations in your colony?
In New South Wales, Commonwealth Day was a time of great celebration, both in Sydney and in regional centres. Even though Sydney came close to voting ‘no’ at the referendums, it hosted the ceremony that marked the ‘official’ inauguration of the Australian Commonwealth. With specially designed arches and floats, parades and other events, the celebrations highlighted the idea of nationhood – the strengthening of relationships with the other States and shared feelings of patriotism. Australians across the nation celebrated the democratic principles that had brought them together.
Hundreds of thousands of people were in Sydney on Commonwealth Day in 1901 to be part of the grand celebrations. There was a parade of decorated floats, and there were specially designed ceremonial arches along the procession route. Some of these arches represented particular industries, such as wool, wheat and coal. Others were designed by different cultural groups, including the German, French and American. Decorations throughout the city included flags, portraits, symbols and words chosen to represent elements of Federation and the nation’s journey to this historic day.