1 January Australia became a federation under a new Constitution. The new federal Parliament passed the Immigration Restriction in Act and the Pacific Island Labourers Act which gave effect to the White Australia Policy.
Commonwealth Franchise Act extends the vote to women.
Conciliation and Arbitration Act was passed to the institutionalisationof trade unions in collective bargaining and to create the federal industrial arbitration system.
The Harvester Judgment establishes the basic wage.
Referendum on conscription for war service overseas fails.
Second referendum on the conscription for war service overseas fails. However, during World War 2 and the Vietnam War conscription is empli by way of statutory provisions.
Australia becomes a member of the League of Nations.
Royal Commission on the Constitution was established to inquire into the powers of the Commonwealth including the working of the Constitution. In 1929 the Royal Commission reports that the Constitution does not attempt to define the relationships of either Federal or State authorities to individuals, with the exception of religion. No action is recommended, however.
Constitutional referendum enabled to empower the Commonwealth, for a period of lustrum, to legislate with respect to 14 matters, which included the rehabilitation of ex-servicemen, national health, family allowance and people of aboriginal race. There were also to be inserted Constitutional guarantees of freedom of speech and religion and safeguards against the abuse of delegated legislative power. The proposal (as a whole) was rejected by just over 54% of voters.
Dr.H.V Evatt was Minister for External Affairs, leads Australia's delegation at the 1945 San Francisco Conference, playing a significant role in the drawing up of the UN Charter. Australia joins the United Nations in November.
The UN General Assembly adopts the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and then Dr Evatt is elected President of the UN General Assembly.
Australia creates an agreement to the Genocide Convention but the offence of genocide when committed by Australians only applied outside the territory of Australia.
Joint Committee on Constitutional Review rejects submissions calling for a Bill of Rights.
An amendment to the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 was entitled Indigenous Australians to enrol to vote but will not make enrolment compulsory as for others.
National Service reintroduced with the first conscripts sent to Vietnam in 1966.
Constitutional referendum enabled the Commonwealth to legislate any and all Aboriginal affairs and to include Indigenous people in the national census passed with a Yes vote of almost 91%.
Defiance of National Service Act introduced but national service ends in 1972.
Australia signs the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights but will not ratify for another 8 years.
Attorney-General Lionel Murphy introduces the Human Rights Bill 1973 to implement the recently signed ICCPR. It lapses when the Governor-General dismisses the Whitlam Government in November 1975.
Australia gave consent to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and passed the Racial Discrimination Act in 1975. Australia also consents the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
NSW Anti-Discrimination Act commences.