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ISBN: 9780776605531-02


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Citizenship and Subject-Hood in 20th Century Australia

From: From Subjects to Citizens


Australians were "subjects" before they were citizens. For almost the first fifty years after the Federation of the Australian colonies in 1901, they were – at least in law – exclusively British subjects. Following the passage of the Nationality and Citizenship Act which took effect on Australia Day, 26 January 1949, there existed for the first time a legal category of Australian citizen, although not an exclusive one.



Helen Irving

Helen Irving is a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Law at the University of Sydney. She is the author and editor of a number of works in Australian constitutional history, and most recently of Unity and Diversity: A National Conversation (2001).