Commonwealth of Australia Coat of Arms
For Peace, Order and Good Government: The first Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia
Early proposals
Six colonies
Drafting a constitution
Declaration of the Commonwealth
Conducting the first Federal election
Who could vote?
The election campaign
9 May 1901
The royal visit
The first federal parliamentarians
Ministry of May, 1901
Edmund Barton
Political parties
Legislative program
Relationship between the houses

Members of the First Parliament

Richard Armstrong Crouch

Richard Armstrong Crouch (1868-1949)

Member for Corio (Victoria) 1901-1910,
Corangamite (Victoria) 1929-1931

Richard Armstrong Crouch was born in Ballarat East, Victoria, and qualified in Melbourne as a lawyer, being admitted as a barrister and solicitor in 1892.

Crouch was elected to the House of Representatives in 1901 as a Protectionist, and supported the Barton government in the first Parliament. As the youngest member of the House of Representatives he was given the honour of seconding the adoption of the Address-in-Reply in the first week of sitting of the new Parliament. He was defeated in the election of April 1910.

Crouch had been commissioned as an army officer in 1892 and commanded an infantry battalion from 1912. He was in command of the 2nd Battalion Australian Infantry Force during the landing at Gallipoli in 1915. Following his return to Australia in March 1916 he became an opponent of military conscription, and ultimately became an active member of the Australian Labor Party. He returned to the House of Representatives as the Labor Party member for Corangamite from 1929 to 1931.

Crouch was well known as a philanthropist and was responsible for the establishment of the avenue of sculptures of Australian prime ministers in the Ballarat Botanical Gardens.

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