Australian Democracy Timeline

Pre-Federation

Gold Rush

1851 - 1852

Gold was discovered in Victoria, and a law was passed in Victoria forcing all gold miners to have a license. However, miners had no say in who ruled them.

Eureka Stockade

1854 - 1855

In 1854, the Eureka Stockade (lead by Peter Laylaw) began when miners demanded voting rights, and the day after it was started, British soldiers stormed the Eureka Stockade. Shortly after, mining licenses were abolished.

All Men Allowed To Vote

1856 - 1857

In 1856, all men over 21 were permitted to vote, instead of only wealthy land-owners. However, women still couldn’t vote.

Women's Suffrage League

1888 - 1889

In 1888, the Women’s Suffrage League was formed, and voting rights were pursued.

Post-Federation

Federation

1900 - 1901

In 1900, the Australian Constitution was formed, and on the first of January 1901, the nation of Australia was created.

Women Allowed To Vote

1901 - 1902

Indigenous Australians Allowed To Vote

1961 - 1962

In 1962, a referendum was held to alter the Constitution to permit Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander people to vote; before this, they were actually classed as fauna.

Age To Vote 18

1972 - 1973

In 1973, the age to vote was lowered to 18, as part of a worldwide campaign.