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

George Bertrand Edwards

George Bertrand Edwards (1855-1911)

Member for South Sydney (New South Wales) 1901-1906,
North Sydney (New South Wales) 1910-1911


George Edwards was born and educated in Hobart, Tasmania, where he was editor of the Tasmanian Mail. In 1890 he was manager of the Peacock Jam factory in Melbourne.

Edwards was elected to represent the electorate of South Sydney in the House of Representatives in 1901 as a Freetrader. He retired from Parliament in 1906 owing to ill health and to look after his business interests. In 1910 he was elected as the member for North Sydney for the Liberal Party, and died in office in February 1911. During the first Parliament Edwards campaigned for the introduction of a decimal system of coinage and measurement for Australia, and was successful in having a favourable resolution on this matter passed in both houses. He was Chairman of the Select Committee on Coinage.

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