Monday, December 31, 2007

Australian Natives' Association

The Australian Natives' Association was a mutual society that was founded in Melbourne in 1871.
It provided sickness, medical and funeral cover for its members, which was strictly limited to only those men born in Australia.

In 1880 the ANA joined in the campaign for Federation, providing financial and organisational support for the Federation Leagues.
It organsied public meetings around the colony to support the 1891 Federation Bill which was before the Victorian Parliament. Although the bill failed, the ANA kept the dream of Federation alive and ,when the movement revived in 1897, the ANA campaigned furiously for referendums to approve the proposed Federal Constitution.

After Federation in 1901 the ANA withdrew from politics but it continued to promote patriotic days like Australia Day.
It supported issues like the adoption of Wattle as the national floral emblem in 1912, water conservation, Aboriginal welfare and Australian-made goods policies.
The ANA continued to operate as a private health fund, a building society and a general insurance company, merging with Manchester Unity of Victoria in 1993 to become Australian Unity.
As of the closing days of 2007, only the W.A branch of the ANA remains in existence but this is winding down too.

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