An Australian Republic
Pointer
With one of our own as head of state

Q&A

What is a republic?

Becoming a republic will complete our journey to full and recognisable independence and maturity as a nation.

A republic will put the Australian people first and foremost, with nobody born to rule over us.

Australians will be united in allegiance to Australia.

A republic means having an Australian as our Head of State, not a monarch inherited from another country.

All of our national institutions will then be in Australian hands.

The Head of State in an Australian republic will be chosen through a process to be determined by the people, by way of truly democratic engagement and culminating in a referendum.

The strong cultural links to Britain (and membership of the Commonwealth) will remain, with both countries as friends and equals.

Didn't we try this before?

In the 1990s most Australians wanted to make the move to a republic but were divided on how to best select the Head of State, and in the absence of a proper process to resolve those differences, the referendum in 1999 was narrowly defeated nationwide 54.87% to 45.13%.

To resolve this, the Australian Republican Movement proposes that we first vote on the question: "should Australia become a republic?"

After a successful vote on the issue of becoming a republic, all Australians must then be given the right to choose from a range of selection methods for our next Head of State, generated through informed community discussion and proper democratic engagement.

That's why we want to invite everyone to join the conversation.

Why should we become a republic?

We have our own national identity, values and character. Australia is our home and it is our responsibility to take the future in our hands, as Australians.

Times have changed, and so have we. Our place in the world is here and we are proud of who we have become, Australian.

We believe in an Australia that stands tall, with a clear national purpose, our own democratic institutions in our name and doing our best to live up to our values of freedom and the fair go.

Australia celebrates our diversity and we should be united in allegiance to Australia.

A republic is for all of us, all Australians. It’s about Australia belonging to all of us, in our name and not in the name of another country’s figurehead. It's just common sense - and it’s also our great patriotic mission.

Indeed why should we conclude that our people aren't capable of producing a new set of institutions that better represent our values in practice as well as theory? We have built a mighty democracy and can make one further improvement to make it all-Australian, owned and operated.

The republic should be an act of creation, just as Federation was in the late nineteenth century. Back then, Australia was part of the British Empire. Over the last century, we have taken each step in our national journey peacefully, successfully, through democratic debate and discussion.

We believe in Australia's future – we make our own luck and we can take control of our own destiny.

Why does it matter to have an Australian as Head of State?

The head of our nation should represent our identity, values and place in the world. At present the head of our nation, who is on our coins and sits above our elected governments and above our military, is not from our nation at all.

Our current Head of State has a full time job representing another country.

As a proud independent nation and as a democracy, the head of our nation should be subject to our laws and should be accountable to us, the Australian people. Our Head of State should work for us, full time.

As a republic, we will have one of us as Head of State. Someone who lives here and is chosen by us – an Australian.

Becoming a republic will end our second-hand reliance on the British monarchy to sit above our national institutions. We will become a fully and recognisably independent nation, with all our national institutions in our hands.

After all, there should be no job an Australian cannot do. Every Australian child should be able to aspire to the top job and at the moment they can't. That’s wrong.

What are the steps to become a Republic?

Our goal is for Australia to belong to all Australians, to become truly ours and no longer a "realm" of a monarch on the other side of the world. So we are starting a conversation about our identity, our values and how to face the future, with all our institutions in our hands. Australians having the conversation is the first step.

There are three things we can choose to do to make Australia ours:

First, decide by a vote of all Australians that we wish to become a republic.

Second, decide by democratic engagement the selection method for Australia's Head of State.

Third, a referendum, as required by the Constitution, offering a choice between a republic with the selection method preferred by the Australian people, or keeping the British monarch as Australia’s Head of State.

These are decisions for all Australians and should not be foisted upon us – or prevented - by our politicians.

That's why we want to invite all Australians to join the conversation and have their say.

Can we stay in the Commonwealth?

Yes, most members of the Commonwealth have already made this change and have full independence as republics within the Commonwealth.

As a republic within the Commonwealth, we will confirm our close friendship with other nations, but we are nobody's branch office.

Won't this cost?

Becoming a republic will be invaluable for our national pride, dignity and our reputation in the world.

Simply turning the office of the Governor-General into the office of the Australian Head of State should not add significantly, if at all, to current costs.

There would, of course, be costs involved in the conduct of a plebiscite, democratic engagement and a referendum. These are the costs that go with properly involving the people in determining our future institutions.

Aren't there more important issues?

There will always be urgent issues of the day, but who we are as a nation is important for our long-term unity and health as a community, as well as sending a strong message about our pride as a people and our standing in the world.  For all of us.

Isn't this all about the Queen?

Our campaign is focused on Australia's future, not individual members of the royal family. We need someone who represents Australia's values, our national character and our identity.

As a republic, Australia will have our own head of state who can stand beside any future British monarch as a friend and an equal, cheering for our team in friendly rivalry. This is a natural step for us to take, to back Australia.

Each step in our journey to independent nationhood has been a transition, not a breach. When we adopted our own national anthem, our own High Court and ended the ability of the British Parliament to legislate for us in the 1980s, each step was taken with dignity and respect for our historic ties to Britain. Equally, becoming a republic will be a move of great dignity for our nation and will not reflect on the Queen or her family or her country. It is about us.

Of course, when we become a republic within the Commonwealth, we will always acknowledge the role the monarch – and the UK – played in our past. Future British monarchs will always be welcome to visit us and will be received by an Australian Head of State as friends and equals.