First Labour Government

Australia's first Labor ministry, the first in the world
Australia's first Labor ministry, the first in the world

Historical Context

Chris Watson was Australia's first Labor Prime Minister and while his 1904 government only survived for four months between April and August in 1904 it has the distinction of being the first Labor government anywhere in the world at a national level.

The Australian Labor Party, a democratic socialist party, has its origins in a strike by pastoral workers in the 1890s in the state of Queensland. It would go on to win the 1910 Federal election under Andrew Fisher and become the first Labor government to win a majority. It remains a major party in Australian political life.

Photo Info


Date taken: April 27, 1904
Location taken: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Source: Australian Prime Ministers Centre

Related Events

  • 1904-04-27 The Australian Labor Party under Prime Minister Chris Watson becomes the first Labor government in the world
  • 1904-08-18 Chris Watson resigns as Prime Minister of Australia and is succeeded by George Reid

Historical Photos