The Ministry of the Barton Government


National Archives of Australia

National Archives of Australia

The first Commonwealth Parliament of Australia opened in Melbourne in May 1901. Edmund Barton was sworn in as Australia’s first Prime Minister after 10 years of devotion to Federation.

Barton and his eight ministers started a government with no parliament, no public service and no accommodation. The Prime Minister’s first office was a borrowed room in Sydney’s Parliament House. His secretary, Arthur Hunt, worked from a makeshift desk in a hallway.

This photo is of the Executive Council in 1902 – the ministry of Edmund Barton, showing the members of the first federal Cabinet. Standing: JG Drake, Richard O’Connor, Philip Fysh, CC Kingston, John Forrest; seated: WJ Lyne, Edmund Barton, Lord Tennyson (Governor-General), Alfred Deakin, George Turner.

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  • Title: The Ministry of the Barton Government
  • Date Created: 1902/1903
  • External Link: Find out more - click here
  • Citation: NAA: A1200, L13365