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

Simon Fraser

Simon Fraser (1832-1919)

Senator for Victoria 1901-1913

Simon Fraser was born in Pictou, Nova Scotia and arrived in Australia in 1853. He spent two years on the Bendigo goldfield before becoming a successful railway line contractor. He then became a pastoralist, purchasing large properties in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.

Fraser was a member of the Victorian Legislative Assembly 1874-83 and Legislative Council 1886-1901. He was a Victorian representative at the Australasian Federal Convention of 1897-98.

In 1901 he topped the poll at the first federal election to represent Victoria in the Senate as a Protectionist. During his parliamentary term Fraser supported the Canberra site for the federal capital and advocated private ownership of railways. At 68, Fraser was one of the oldest members elected to the first Parliament.  He was 80 when his term ended.

A very successful contractor and pastoralist, Fraser was one of the wealthiest members of Parliament. He was knighted in 1918, and was the grandfather of Malcolm Fraser, Prime Minister of Australia 1975-1983.

previous | list of members | next