Film synopsis

The challenge was not only to create a nation but to develop an enduring Australian democracy.

A remarkable investigation into the process that shaped ‘the Great Southern Land’ over a century ago, FEDERATION is the award winning three part documentary series, detailing Australia’s rocky road to nationhood, vividly bringing to life the history making events, personalities and experiences that culminated in the federation of the Australian colonies in 1901.

This captivating Australian documentary, narrated by John Doyle and featuring the voice of Leo McKern as Sir Henry Parkes, is not only a treat for history buffs, but an intrinsically well crafted document tracing the footsteps and measuring the trials and tribulations of our great nation.

THE LAND:  The seven disparate States sort out their differences and meet to write a constitution, which is spectacularly dumped because it is considered undemocratic. So begins the story and the sundry frustrations of the first attempt at forming a nation.

THE PEOPLE: The fear of change and fight for equality – the opinion makers, the winners and losers consider and debate the many elements needed to create an Australian democracy.

THE NATION: After the second attempt in 1897, Australia was close to creating a federation of all states. But there was much work ahead of the people to strike deals and establish a constitution that would best represent the nation.

Running time

173 Minutes

Year of production