Parkes, Sir Henry, 1815–96, Australian political leader, b. England. He emigrated to Australia in 1839 and later founded a newspaper, the Empire, to advocate responsible government and an end to the transporting of criminals to Australia. He served (1854–61) in the legislative council and then in the assembly of New South Wales. Returning (1863) from a two-year mission to England in the interests of immigration, he secured, as colonial secretary of New South Wales (1866–68), the passage of the first education act. From 1872 to 1891 he dominated provincial politics, serving several times as prime minister. Free trade, civil service reform, public works, and the federation of the Australian colonies were his constant concerns.
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