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

Edward Davis Millen

Edward Davis Millen (1860-1923)

Senator for New South Wales 1901-1923

Born in Kent, England, Edward Millen migrated in about 1880 to New South Wales, and settled in the north-west, where he worked as a journalist, newspaper proprietor and land agent. He was a member of both houses of the New South Wales colonial Parliament. Millen was a follower of George Reid, and varied between strong support and criticism of federation.

In 1901 Millen was elected as a Freetrader to represent New South Wales in the Senate at the first federal election. Millen was one of the longest serving members of the first Parliament and held a number of senior positions, including Minister for Defence 1913-14 and Acting Prime Minister in 1919. In 1914 Millen supervised the recruitment and equipment of 20,000 troops for the Australian Imperial Force. In his role as Minister for Repatriation 1917-1923 he was responsible for 160,000 returned servicemen being absorbed into the workforce and reclaiming their civilian lives. In 1920 he attended the first meeting of the League of Nations in Geneva, visited war graves, and reorganised Australia House in London.

Millen died in 1923 while still in office.

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