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Alfred Deakin


Alfred Deakin was the renowned Australian politician of the early days of the 20th century and also was the second Premier of the country. He was the prominent leader of the association which was striving for Australian federation. Alfred William Deakin was the Prime Minister of Australia for three times. He was the member of the parliament from 1879 and was even allocated various important ministries.

On 3rd of August 1856 Alfred Deakin was born in Melbourne, Australia. His father was William Deakin who had come to this country in 1850 from England. He had only one sister who played a significant role in his career. Since childhood he had a passion for reading and was very fond of books. After school in 1871, he had joined University of Melbourne as a law student and by 1877 he got admission to the Bar. Though a law student his knowledge was varied because he read books of all kinds of subjects. He was not particularly interested in law and this was the reason why this career was not that successful. Even for a small period in his career he wrote for a newspaper. This was the turning point in his life as journalism made him interested in politics.

The most significant time in the career of Alfred Deakin is when he contested in an election for the Reform League and managed to defeat his opponent. After this there was no looking back and within one and half years he had established himself as a successful Victorian politician. His main concern was the welfare of the labouring class and the unprivileged. The draught condition of country was another prime concern of his and he even went to United States to gather knowledge on irrigation. He was even the Minister of Public Works and Water Supply for some time.

Deakin began to get involved in the movement for Australian Federation since 1887. He was a representative in a number of federal conferences and conventions. This struggle continued till 1900 and ended when the British Parliament finally passed the constitution.

In 1903 Alfred for the first time became the Prime Minister of Australia though for a very short term. His second time in prime ministerís office was for a period of three years. During this time Commonwealth Literary Fund and Bureau of Census and Statistics was formed. Many other labour issues were addresses during this time. A significant step was taken in the defense policy of the country as there was the proposition for the establishment of the Australian Navy. The third term as the Premiership of Alfred Deakin was also short. It was from 1909 to 1910. He was forced in to this post inspite of his reluctance and there were no suitable candidates.

In 1913 Deakin decided to quit from politics and very soon he was attacked by Alzheimer. At the age of 63 he took his last breath in the year 1919.

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