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Federation was Edmund Barton's 'one great thing'. One of the key architects of Australia's Constitution, Barton became the new nation's first Prime Minister at a grand ceremony in Centennial Park, Sydney, on 1 January 1901.
Admired for his intellect and calm temper, Barton's glowing eyes revealed a keen sense of humour, while his ample girth was evidence of a love of good food, fine wine and stimulating conversation. With a rich and engrossing voice, he commanded authority wherever he spoke.
In 1903 Barton resigned to become one of the three judges who founded Australia's High Court.