Sir Henry Parkes often gets the title of being Australia's father of Federation, as he did make a famous speech in Tenterfield NSW in favor of Federation in 1889. However it was Deakin who labored for more than 10 years, between 1890 -1900, often being the man behind the scenes, smoothing over disagreements between political opponents and traveling extensively in Australia and to London to secure Australia's future. He rejected all local political appointments, working as a lawyer to pay his own way as he attended all the constitutional conventions and endless meetings.
Parkes may have even made his famous speech because of some encouragement he received by Deakin one week earlier. Parkes died in 1896 aged 80, never to see the final agreement or the Queens proclamation. But Deakin was at the center of every event and was later responsible to design and establish the new Australian nation.
Alfred Deakin Prayer on 4th June 1898
"Father of nations, receive our psalm of thanksgiving. Enable us to pursue the cause of unity in spite of the obstacles which at present appear to beset our path elsewhere. Guide us to appeal to that which is best and purest so as to make its development and mastery sure under our forms of government.
Aid us to purify ourselves by our labours for the general wealth and to invoke spiritual and moral principles so as to link us with our brethren on the highest plane to which we can at present attain.
God preserve this people and grant its leaders unselfish fidelity and courage to face all trials for the sake of brotherhood. Thy blessing has rested upon us here yesterday and we pray that it may be the means of creating and fostering throughout all Australia a Christlike citizenship."