Ideas for governing don’t come out of thin air. Many different systems of government have been attempted across the world over thousands of years.
The story and the development of democratic ideas can be seen throughout the historical events leading to the achievement of the Australian Constitution on 1 January 1901.
Our website timeline highlights ideas that developed over time into six foundational principles. They are democracy, the rule of law, separation of powers, federalism, nationhood and rights balanced by responsibilities. The principles are fundamental to the structure and content of the unique Australian Constitution and influence how it works.
The strong foundation principles ensure that we have one of the most enduring and stable systems of government in the world. Australia has a system of government known as a Parliamentary democracy, grounded in liberal democratic values and a belief in civic engagement.