This cardboard badge was made by Turner & Henderson in 1899. Commissioned by supporters of Federation, the front of the badge bears the slogan 'One People One Destiny One Flag'. Although the 'Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act' had passed both houses of the British Parliament, it was not certain that all six colonies would join the Federation. Each colonial Parliament had to pass legislation agreeing to become part of the Commonwealth, and then hold referenda. In 1899 referenda were held in Victoria, New South Wales, Tasmania, South Australia and Queensland. Western Australia held a referendum in 1900.

This badge was created for the referendum held in NSW on 20 June 1899.

Physical Description

Cardboard in the shape of a shovel. The obverse printed in red and blue on a white ground with an image of the NSW Ensign and the slogan. The election details are printed on the reverse in black ink.


The museum has three badges in its collection from the Federation period. Two were created in 1899, and pledge the wearer's support of Federation. Made of metal they were created to be worn throughout the campaign, and acquired a souvenir status. This badge offers a lens to another aspect of the Federation campaign. It was produced specifically to advertise the referendum to be held in NSW in June 1899. Made of cardboard, it would have been pinned to a lapel rather like a political rosette. It is likely this badge was distributed free to voters by supporters of the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act, whereas the metal badges would have been bought at a cost. Although women did not have the vote at the time, it is possible it was worn by women as well as men.

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