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James George Drake (1850–1941)
6 October 2015 @ 10.30 am - 12.00 pm
Inaugural CAUL/ASA Fellow, and AHA member, Dr Lyndon Megarrity, explores the controversies and passions of Queensland’s first Senator.
Drake, a London-born barrister, publisher, journalist and leading politician, played a prominent role in state and federal politics. During the 1890s, he worked tirelessly to secure a popular YES vote for Federation, and championed democratic reforms such as votes for women. He rose from the backbenches to become Minister for Public Instruction in the Queensland Government, and became the Commonwealth of Australia’s first Postmaster-General. A highly prominent and controversial figure, Drake twice refused to become leader of a Liberal-Labor coalition in Queensland Parliament. He also rejected an offer to become a Minister in the world’s first Labor Government in December 1899.
Dr Lyndon Megarrity (James Cook University) is the co-author of Made in Queensland: A New History (University of Queensland Press, 2009). In 2014, he was awarded the Inaugural CAUL/Australian Society of Authors Research Fellowship. His research centred on the James George Drake papers held in the Fryer Library and other Fryer collections that document this period in the history of Australia.