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

Sir Malcolm Donald McEacharn

Sir Malcolm Donald McEacharn (1852-1910)

Member for Melbourne (Victoria) 1901-1904

Born in London, England, Malcolm McEacharn built a business shipping passengers and cargo to the Australian colonies; in 1879 he initiated the shipping of Australian refrigerated meat and butter to England.  From 1881 McEacharn was resident in Australia where he extended his interests into pastoral property and the sugar industry, and developed his business in Australian coastal shipping.  A Melbourne City councillor from 1893, McEacharn was Mayor of Melbourne 1897-1900 and Lord Mayor in 1903.  He was knighted in 1900.
McEacharn was elected to represent the federal seat of Melbourne in the House of Representatives at the first federal election in 1901.  He supported Prime Minister Barton in the first Parliament, but retained an independent outlook, identifying strongly with the interests of employers and business.

Although McEacharn successfully contested the seat of Melbourne in 1903, the election was declared void on a technicality and in the subsequent election McEacharn was defeated by the Labor candidate.  He left Australia in 1905 for Scotland, where he purchased a large estate.

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