Born in Fitzroy (Victoria) in August 1856, Deakin worked briefly as a barrister and journalist at David Syme’s Age newspaper before being elected to the Victorian Legislative Assembly as the member for West Bourke in 1880. Deakin served in the Victorian Parliament for some 20 years, serving as Solicitor-General, Minister for Public Works and Chief Secretary. A leading federalist, Deakin was appointed Attorney-General in January 1901 in Edmund Barton’s first Commonwealth ministry. At the first Federal election in March that year, Deakin was returned as member for Ballaarat (Victoria), a seat which he held until his retirement in 1913. Deakin dominated national politics for the first decade of federation, serving as Prime Minister (leading minority governments) three times: from September 1903 to April 1904, July 1905 to November 1908 and from June 1909 to April 1910.