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‘Affable Alfred’ - the dreamer, the believer, the achiever
Alfred Deakin (1856-1919), barrister, journalist, intellectual, spiritualist, political visionary, gifted orator, and three-time prime minister, was the dominant figure of Australia's first decade following Federation.
A brilliant statesman, Deakin excelled in a defining period of history predisposed to his adroit negotiating skills that were fixed on compromise and conciliation and augmented by his natural powers of persuasion.
His consistent willingness to place "policy before party" meant Deakin's rare ability to straddle, indeed fuse, the political spectrum was unmatched in the nascent Federation.
A tall man with dark features and a light baritone voice, Deakin cut an imposing figure. Yet his genial, fair-minded nature almost universally endeared him to his contemporaries and earned for him the epithet "Affable Alfred".
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