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Alfred Deakin
, c 1922

by Charles Webster Gilbert

cast bronze on black marble base (sight: 75 cm x 43.5 cm depth 32.5 cm)

On loan to the National Portrait Gallery

Alfred Deakin (1856–1919), Australia’s second, fifth and seventh prime minister, was central to the Federation movement. He studied law at the University of Melbourne and entered politics when he was elected to the Victorian Legislative assembly in 1879. After 1890, he devoted his energies to Federation and was a key negotiator at the Federal Conventions, drafting much of what would become the Australian constitution. In 1900, Deakin traveled with Edmund Barton to London to oversee the passage of the Federation Bill through the British parliament. Elected to the first Australian parliament in 1901 as the member for Ballarat, he took over from Barton as prime minister when the latter retired to take up the position of High Court judge. Spurning the title Right Honorable, he was to serve two more terms as prime minister in the first ten years of the Federated nation. Deakin left Parliament in 1913 and retired from public life, having rejected honorary doctorates from Oxford and Cambridge and membership of the Privy Council; he received no other honours.

Courtesy of the Historic Memorials Collection, Parliament House Collection, Department of Parliamentary Services, Canberra, A.C.T.
Accession number: LOAN2008.22.5