Australian Constitution Day passed by most Australians today with little fanfare, not realising that it marked the birth of a new nation.
More can and should be done to promote and celebrate our Constitution Day, according to Light MP Tony Piccolo.
He said Constitution Day was effectively the day the Australian colonies were presented with Australia’s “birth certificate”.
“On 9 July 1900, Queen Victoria signed into law the Commonwealth of Australia Act (UK) and the Federation of Australia was created,” Mr Piccolo said.
“This act of the UK parliament gave effect to the Australian Constitution on 1 January 1901, uniting the Australian colonies.
“It is unfortunate that most Australians are not aware of the significance of the day nor the process or the journey the Australian colonies undertook to federate our continent into one nation.
“Previously each colony had its own defence force, customs control and different rail gauges.
“Federation brought us together, laying the foundation for modern Australia,” he said.
In an endeavour to increase the awareness of the day, Mr Piccolo held a special seminar at Parliament House on Friday, July 6, for a group of year 11 legal studies students from Xavier and Gawler and District colleges.
The students celebrated the event with a tour of the South Australian Parliament and talks from Associate Professor Hayden Manning, the Chief Justice of the South Australian Supreme Court, plus Hon. Chris Kourakis and the former Speaker of the House of Assembly and Attorney General in the Rann Government, Hon. Michael Atkinson.
Mr Piccolo shared how the three speakers provided the students with the opportunity to hear about the three arms of government, from people who actively participate in the different areas.
“I see Constitution Day being a unifier of the Australian people, not just for those who were here at the turn of the century, but for all Australians, whether they came here 40,000 years ago, or more recently, and regardless of their country or origin,” Mr Piccolo said.