The Henry Parkes Foundation was set up in December 1998 by Parkes’ descendants and others, both to honour Sir Henry himself — the man dubbed ‘Father of Federation’ — and to carry forward his egalitarian vision for Australia in ways relevant to today.

Its activities include an annual oration, with a distinguished speaker focusing on challenging social/political issues in Australian society, with some reference to the ideals and objectives of Parkes.

The Foundation has also sponsored annual citizenship conventions for schools at NSW Parliament House, designed to help students understand how politics affects their lives and how they can be involved. Topics have included whether Australia should become a republic; reconciliation; ‘voting counts’, ‘mobilising for peace’; social justice, and ecological sustainability.