Born in Scotland, Andrew Fisher began work in a coalmine at the age of nine.
He migrated to Queensland in 1885, worked as a coalminer in Gympie and became president of the local Miners' Association.
He was a member of the Queensland Legislative Assembly from 1893 and in 1901 was elected to the new federal parliament.
He became Labor leader in 1907 and prime minister for the first time in 1908 after the Deakin Government, deprived of Labor support, fell. His ministry was replaced by a Conservative coalition in 1909 but in 1910 Labor won a resounding victory at the polls.
Like Alfred Deakin, Andrew Fisher was Prime Minister three times, in 1908-09, 1910-13 and 1914-15. Although very different in background, these two men share the title of founder of the new nation's statutory structure.
Fisher's second government established the Commonwealth Bank, and Australia paper currency and the Australian Navy, began to work on the national capital and expanded social welfare with maternity allowances and invalid pensions.
Narrowly defeated by Joseph Cook's group in 1913, Fisher returned to power in 1914 when Cook called an early election and lost. But this ministry was distracted by the crisis in Europe and by divisions in the party of conscription.
Fisher resigned in 1915 and was high commissioner in London from 1916-1921.