Richard O'Connor

Richard Edward O'Connor (1851-1912), a barrister, was an avowed Protectionist in New South Wales parliament (1888-98). He worked energetically for Federation and had a major role in drafting the Constitution. As government leader in the Senate (1901-03) he displayed exceptional parliamentary dexterity. On the High Court bench (1903-12) he enhanced his reputation as an able lawyer and an upright man.


1 January 1901


The Federation of Australia is formed from the six separate British self-governing colonies of New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia. When the Constitution of Australia comes into force on 1 January, the colonies collectively become states of the Commonwealth of Australia.


Floats passing by the Treasury Building during Commonwealth Day celebrations, Brisbane, 1901