The Hon Alfred Deakin (1856–1919)

Born in Fitzroy (Victoria) in August 1856, Deakin worked briefly as a barrister and journalist at David Syme’s Age newspaper before being elected  to the Victorian Legislative Assembly as the member for West Bourke in 1880. Deakin served in the Victorian Parliament for some 20 years, serving as Solicitor-General, Minister for Public Works and Chief Secretary. A leading federalist, Deakin was appointed Attorney-General in January 1901 in Edmund Barton’s first Commonwealth ministry. At the first Federal election in March that year, Deakin was returned as member for Ballaarat (Victoria), a seat which he held until his retirement in 1913. Deakin dominated national politics for the first decade of federation, serving as Prime Minister (leading minority governments) three times: from September 1903 to April 1904, July 1905 to November 1908 and from June 1909 to April 1910.

No 002 Deakin by Alison Alder

No 002 Deakin by Alison Alder.

Publications

From our special correspondent: Alfred Deakin’s letters to the London Morning Post

Alfred Deakin – the lives, the legacy: Australia’s second prime minister [PDF 8.1 MB] by Dr. David Headon 

Greater Britain: Alfred Deakin's Articles for The National Review [PDF 1.08 MB

Commemorating Alfred Deakin by Dr Nathan Church, Flagpost, Parliamentary Library blog

Order a hard copy of ‘Alfred Deakin: the lives, the legacy’ and 'From our special correspondent: Alfred Deakin’s letters to the London Morning Post' from The Parliament Shop.

Lectures

Why Politics? Ambition and Ideals in Alfred Deakin's shifting political vocation [MP4 160MB] Notes: [PDF 353KB]
Emeritus Professor Judith Brett—La Trobe University
27 November 2019

Puzzles of a Prime Minister - Alfred Deakin Revealed [MP4 260MB]
Dr David Headon—Parliamentary Library Fellow, Australian National University
14 October 2019

The enigmatic Mr Deakin: Australia’s second prime minister [HTML] [MP4 204MB] [MP3 48MB]
Emeritus Professor Judith Brett—La Trobe University
18 October 2017

Alfred Deakin and his ‘Times that try men’s souls’ [MP4 932MB]
Dr David Headon—Parliamentary Library Fellow, Australian National University
24 November 2016
 

Posters

Download the Deakin posters. These posters are appropriate for A3 printing or larger, and cover the main sections of the book.

Alfred Deakin’s story and story-tellers

Glimpses of Childhood

A new pilgrim’s progress

A rich life of the spirit begins

Reluctant lawyer, reluctant politician

A father of Federation, a family man

A founder of nation

Between temple and tomb

Australia’s greatest prime minister?