[Editor: A report on the formation of an Australian National Association, advocating federation and “Australia for the Australians”. Published in The Sydney Morning Herald, 13 July 1888.]
An Australian National Association
A meeting was held at the Royal Hyde Park Hotel last night, to consider the advisability of forming an Australian National Association in New South Wales. Mr. Robert White was voted to the chair. He opened the meeting by pointing out the scope of such an association as they had met to form. He stated that a similar association had been successfully formed in Queensland by Sir Thomas M‘Ilwraith’s party recently, and said that it was necessary one should be formed in New South Wales to give form and expression to the growing national aspiration and sentiment. The tendency towards Imperialism in some quarters required counteracting, and an association of this kind would effectively meet that object.
Mr. J. H. Byrne then delivered an address, in which he pointed out the necessity of such a party to foster and concentrate national sentiment. The Australian Natives’ Association did not fully meet this object, on account of its platform being too limited. A national party should include every individual who desires to see Australia develop into a nation — a party that will make “Australia for the Australians” a grand reality. He moved, — “That the time has now arrived when an Australian National Association should be formed in New South Wales.”
Mr. Thomas Symons seconded the resolution. He pointed out that the conditions of life in Australia were far different and superior to those of Great Britain or Europe, and on account of this there was the possibility of a higher growth racially than in the old world. It was our duty to do all we possibly could to assist the development of a distinctive nationality in Australia.
Mr. Wm. Robertson, of Orange, supported the resolution. He said the feelings of nationality were strong in the country districts, and only needed awakening by the formation of such an association as that proposed, and in a short time, no doubt, branches would be formed in all large centres of population such as Newcastle, Goulburn, Bathurst, Orange, and Albury.
The resolution was unanimously adopted. It was then decided to hold a public meeting at an early date to formally inaugurate the association. Mr. J. H. Byrne was appointed hon. secretary pro tem., and was directed to communicate with the Queensland National Party, and obtain the rules and objects of their association.
The Sydney Morning Herald, (Sydney, NSW), Friday 13 July 1888, page 4
pro tem. = for the time being, temporarily; from the Latin phrase “pro tempore”
Thomas McIlwraith = a Queensland businessman and politician, who was Premier of Queensland 1879-1883, 1888, and 1893 (born 17 May 1835, died 17 July 1900)