Alternatives to Federation, then and now

Media release: Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Former premier of South Australia John Bannon will examine the state of federalism, past and present, including the problems facing the Murray–Darling river system, in the National Archives' Constitution Founders Lecture in Adelaide.

Dr Bannon will have a special focus on colourful politician Charles Cameron Kingston (1859–1908), one of the great figures in Australian political history. Kingston was premier of South Australia from 1893 to 1899, helped draft the Australian Constitution and was later a member of the first federal parliament. 

Kingston was a hot-tempered man, who once proposed a pistol duel in Adelaide's Victoria Square, but he was also a passionate social reformer who often clashed with South Australia's conservative establishment.

John Bannon entered the South Australian parliament in 1977 and was premier from 1982 to 1992. After politics he obtained a PhD in history at Flinders University.  He is currently an Adjunct Professor in Law at Adelaide University and President of the History Council of South Australia.

The Constitution Founders lecture series celebrates the Australian Constitution, its origins in the States, and the role of the founders in the formation of the Australian nation.

The National Archives has the original Australian Constitution on permanent display, and provides access to a range of documents to assist Australians to understand and debate their heritage and democracy.

When: Thursday 3 September, 6.00pm
Where: The House of Assembly Chamber, Parliament of South Australia, North Terrace, Adelaide.
Note: The lecture is booked out but media representatives are welcome to attend – please phone Enid Woodley on (08) 8409 8400.

Copyright National Archives of Australia 2017