Sir Henry Parkes (1815 - 1896)
Sir Henry Parkes, GCMG (27 May 1815 – 27 April 1896) was a statesman and politician who is considered the Father of the Australian Federation. As the earliest advocate of a Federal Council of the colonies of Australia, a precursor to the Commonwealth of Australia, he was the most prominent of the Australian Founding Fathers. Parkes was described during his lifetime by The Times as "the most commanding figure in Australian politics". Alfred Deakin described him as "though not rich or versatile, his personality was massive, durable and imposing, resting upon elementary qualities of human nature elevated by a strong mind. He was cast in the mould of a great man and though he suffered from numerous pettinesses, spites and failings, he was in himself a large-brained self-educated Titan whose natural field was found in Parliament and whose resources of character and intellect enabled him in his later years to overshadow all his contemporaries".
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