The Australian Natives' Association (ANA), a mutual society was founded in Melbourne, Australia in April 1871. Melbourne ( is the second most populous city in Australia, with a Metropolitan area population of approximately 3 For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Australia topics. Year 1871 ( MDCCCLXXI) was a Common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common The Association played a leading role in the movement for Australian federation in the last 20 years of the 19th century. The federation of Australia was the process by which the six separate British self-governing colonies of New South Wales, Queensland, South In 1900 it had a membership of 17,000, mainly in Victoria. Year 1900 ( MCM) was an exceptional Common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar
The ANA provided sickness, medical and funeral cover. However, it threw off the secrecy and ritual of British friendly societies which also provided such insurance cover.
Membership in the ANA was restricted to men born in Australia, at a time when native-born people of European descent (not including Indigenous Australians) were rising to power in place of an older generation born in Britain. Indigenous Australians are descendants of the first known human inhabitants of the Australian continent and its nearby islands. In the 1890s, for the first time, they became the majority of the population. The ANA consisted mainly of energetic middle-class men aged under 50 - a perfect base for a forward-looking, idealistic movement such as federation.
In 1880 the ANA committed itself to the federation of the Australian colonies, and provided much of the organisational and financial support for the Federation Leagues which led the campaign, particularly in Victoria. Year 1880 ( MDCCCLXXX) was a Leap year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Leap year It avoided party politics, but they soon adopted the rising liberal politician and ANA member Alfred Deakin as their candidate for leadership of the federal movement. Alfred Deakin (3 August 1856 – 7 October 1919 Australian politician was a leader of the movement for Australian federation and later second Prime Minister
In 1891, when the Victorian Parliament was considering the federation bill, it was the ANA which organised public meetings around the colony to rally support for the bill, many of them addressed by Deakin. Year 1891 ( MDCCCXCI) was a Common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common After the failure of the 1891 bill, it was the ANA which kept the federal cause alive. When the movement revived after 1897, the ANA campaigned vigorously for the referendums to approve the proposed constitution. Year 1897 ( MDCCCXCVII) was a Common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian Calendar (or a Common
With federation achieved in 1901, the ANA withdrew from political activity, although it continued patriotic activity such as promoting the observance of Australia Day. Year 1901 ( MCMI) was a Common year starting on Tuesday (link will display calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common year starting Other nationalistic issues supported by the ANA included afforestation, an Australian-made goods policy, water conservation, Aboriginal welfare, the celebration of proper and meaningful citizenship ceremonies following the increased levels of migration after World War II and the adoption of the wattle as the national floral emblem in 1912. Together with the Returned and Services League, it was one of the last Australian pressure groups to support the White Australia Policy. The Returned and Services League of Australia (often abbreviated to RSL) is a support organisation for men and women who have served or are serving in the Australian The White Australia policy is a term used to describe a collection of historical policies that intentionally restricted non-white Immigration to Australia from It maintained this support until the 1970s.
The ANA continued to prosper, operating a private health fund, a building society, general insurance company and small-scale life insurance and fund management activities. In 1993, it merged these operations with Manchester Unity of Victoria to create the company Australian Unity, then the largest friendly society in Australia by number of members. Year 1993 ( MCMXCIII) was a Common year starting on Friday (link will display full 1993 Gregorian calendar)
As of 2007, only the WA branch exists, and this is winding down, although Australian Unity attempts to maintain a modicum of activity in the Victoria-based ANA fraternal society.