The Office of Parliamentary Counsel (OPC) has supplied the content and the National Library of Australia has digitised and made these records machine-readable. Users can correct, tag and annotate the contents just as they can with digitised newspaper articles. It is anticipated that more issues will be added in the future.
The very first issue of the Gazette, published on 1 January 1901, shows the proclamation of the Commonwealth of Australia by Queen Victoria. There were also instructions on a range of protocols, such as directions for appointing the judiciary, what should happen were the Governor-General to become incapacitated, and who would form Her Majesty’s first government.
Each Gazette documents the day-to-day business of governing and administering the Commonwealth. Usually published weekly, they were the principal source of public information on current legislation, and contained notices required by law on decisions made by the various departments and courts.
The subject matter of the Gazette ranges across all kinds of services and authorities, including defence, postal and telegraphic services, taxation and other forms of revenue, immigration, citizenship, trade and foreign affairs, national infrastructure and many others.
Some examples of what you may find in the Gazettes include:
- notices about people becoming naturalised as citizens
- results of public service exams
- details of military service, commissioning, and decorations
- post office and military tenders
- despatches from the Secretary of State for the Colonies
- patent and treasury statements
- statements of receipt and expenditure for Territories