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The six colonies became States when the Australian Constitution came into being at federation on 1 January 1901. The Constitution became our legal compact. It is a general law for Government that cannot be revoked or changed, except by the people of Australia.

The Constitution provides limits for Government. It is a rule book for all the participants within our democracy. The Constitution is binding on every member of the community including Ministers, Parliamentarians and Judges.

Each of the eight chapters and 128 sections outlines who or what institution has the power to do certain things. The Constitution protects the people from any one person or institution having too much power. It provides checks and balances on the people and institutions of Government.

Our Constitution is one of the most enduring written constitutions in the world. It can only be changed by Australians by voting at a referendum.

Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1900 (UK) ​​Source: National Archives of Australia.