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

Thomas Kennedy

Thomas Kennedy (1859-1929)

Member for Moira (Victoria) 1901-1906

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Thomas Kennedy was born in Moonee Ponds, Victoria. Kennedy was a farmer who served on the Yarrawonga Shire Council 1889-94 and was Shire President 1892-94. In 1893 he contested the Victorian Legislative Assembly seat of Benalla and Yarrawonga at a by-election at which he and his opponent polled the same number of votes, 753. The returning officer’s casting vote went against Kennedy who appealed, and in a new poll won by 60 votes. He held the seat until 1901.

In 1901 Kennedy was elected as a Protectionist to represent the seat of Moira in the House of Representatives. Although a committed Protectionist, Kennedy occasionally asserted his independence by voting against the government in the first Parliament. Following an electoral distribution in 1906, Kennedy failed to win the House of Representatives seat of Echuca by a narrow margin.

Kennedy was Chairman of the Victorian Closer Settlement Board in 1910-15 and then returned to farming and grazing. Apart from an unsuccessful attempt to win the state seat of Benalla in 1917, he did not return to politics.

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