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 Frederick Thomas Sargood

Sir Frederick Thomas Sargood (1834-1903)

Senator for Victoria 1901-1903

Born in Walworth, London, England, Frederick Sargood migrated with his family to Melbourne, Victoria in 1850. As a young man he managed his family’s soft-goods business in the Bendigo Goldfields district. The business prospered and became the biggest of its kind in the colony. He entered the Victorian Legislative Council in 1874 and was a member for 23 years, including 12 years as unofficial leader of the Council. In 1883 he became Victoria’s first Minister for Defence. Sargood was knighted in 1890.

In 1901 Sargood was elected as a Freetrader to represent Victoria in the Senate at the first federal election. He died suddenly in January 1903 while holidaying in New Zealand, the first federal senator to die in office.

Sargood was a man of good judgement and commonsense, highly respected by his peers and known for his great hospitality at his mansion “Rippon Lea”. His brief career as a federal senator was overshadowed by his long and distinguished service as a Victorian parliamentarian.

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