The first eight project

The First Eight Project is a joint undertaking between the Parliamentary Library, the National Museum of Australia, the National Archives of Australia, the Victorian Parliamentary Library and the Australian National University’s Australian Studies Institute.

As part of this collaboration, the Parliamentary Library will be publishing a series of essays and lectures about Australia’s first eight prime ministers—covering the Melbourne period of the Parliament. This collaboration will enliven interest in this formative period of the nation’s history, focusing on the private, public and political lives of its political leaders, and something of the essence of the world they inhabited and which shaped them.

The Library will be hosting a series of lectures and events to accompany the publication of each book. Alfred Deakin – the lives, the legacy: Australia’s second prime minister, written by Dr David Headon, was published in March 2018 and launched by the Presiding Officers of the Australian Parliament. George Reid will be the subject of the second book, scheduled for publication in 2019. Dr Headon will be writing each of the biographies and accompanying lectures.

Senator the Hon Scott Ryan (left) and the Hon Tony Smith MP (right) with David Headon at the Alfred Deakin book launch.