Sir Edmund Barton was Australia's first
Prime Minister. He was elected in peace time instead of winning his
position from war like in most countries.
was born in Sydney in 1849 and was a lawyer by trade - being among the
early graduates of the University of Sydney. In 1871 he was called to
Bar, and entered the Legislative Assembly in 1879. He became Speaker in
NSW Parliament in 1883.
the economic depression of the early 1890s he committed himself to the
idea of a national government which could apply Australia-wide solutions
to problems such as defence. He became the leader of the movement for
Federation in NSW and was its most ardent advocate - touring NSW
promoting support for Federation.
1891 he was one of four members to draft the abortive constitution
which resulted from the 1891 Federal Conference.
1897-98 he was the Leader of Federal Convention in Adelaide which
drafted a new constitution. A delegation was formed to submit the draft
constitution to the Imperial Government in 1899-1900. Royal Assent was
received in July 1900 and Edmund Barton was appointed as the first
Australian Prime Minister.
he was knighted and became SIR Edmund Barton. In 1903
he retired from politics and became Senior Judge of the High Court of
Australia. He held this position until his death in 1920.