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Peacock spoke quickly and loved to tell jokes.

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Alexander Peacock

National Library of Australia

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Alexander Peacock (1861–1933)

Federalist and premier of Victoria

Peacock came from the goldfields town of Creswick in Victoria and worked as a manager of goldmines. He founded the branch of the Australian Natives Association (ANA) in his town.

This association was made up of young men born in Australia and was a great supporter of making an Australian nation. In Victoria the ANA was very strong and Peacock, like other of its clever young members, moved into politics. He was many times a minister and several times premier in the early 20th century. He was a reformer whose great work was to limit the hours of work and improve the wages and conditions of people who worked in factories.

Peacock was elected to the Federal Convention of 1897–98. He supported, with other reformers from Victoria, all the moves to make the constitution more democratic. In particular, he wanted to stop the Senate blocking the will of the people. But he was best remembered for his laugh, which came often and was extremely loud.

After he died his wife, Lady Millie Peacock, was elected for his seat. She was the first woman to be a parliamentarian in Victoria.