Why should Australia become a republic?
Australia should have an Australian as our head of state. Why?
1) Our head of state should live here and be proud to be Australian. Anyone who holds public office in Australia should be an Australian citizen with allegiance to Australia.
2) An Australian head of state would better represent the things we stand for - fairness, equality, merit. Our head of state should not be chosen because of who their mother or father is or where they were born.
3) Australia's head of state should be chosen by Australians. It's wrong that Australians cannot become our head of state and that we have no say in who does.
4) Australian should be fully independent. It's not right for Australia's democracy to be subject to a foreign monarch.
Australia is one of the world's most successful countries. We are independent, diverse and proud of our achievements. Becoming a republic would strengthen the best things about our country for the future.
What is a republic?
A republic is a country where power is completely in the hands of the people. An Australian republic would make our system fully democratic and fully Australian.
In Australia today, the people have no say in who is the head of state - instead, the head of state is the King or Queen of England. The Governor-General is only their representative to act on their behalf and has to approve every law made by our Parliament, every election and the appointment of every government.
For Australia to become a republic, we need to replace having a King or Queen and a Governor-General with having an Australian as our head of state - someone chosen by Australians to serve Australia.
An Australian republic would keep a Prime Minister as our head of government and a Parliament to make laws, but the person who is our head of state would not be an English King or Queen, they would be an Australian, chosen by Australians.
How will an Australian president be different to other presidents around the world?
An Aussie republic will keep our current parliamentary democracy with a Prime Minister, but we’ll have the advantage of one of our own citizens as head of state to replace the King or Queen of England and the Governor-General. This is the kind of republic that works well in countries like Germany, Ireland and India today.
The USA has a different system, where the President has lots of control over the government.
An Australian republic above politics – it’s about the nation
A republic is about trusting the people. Australians should have a say in who is our head of state - it should not be decided by someone being born in England.
Replacing the King or Queen of England and the Governor-General with an Australian would give us a proper head of state who is above politics. We would have a dignified, prestigious Australian head of state - a person to represent our whole nation who is separate from the political parties and the Parliament.
Our democracy belongs to Australians, so instead of the top job belonging to the English Queen (or King), it makes more sense to have an Aussie head of state to represent us, rather than a politically divisive monarchy.
How do we change to a republic?
To become a republic with an Australian as our head of state we need a national vote (called a 'referendum') to change our constitution. Every Australian voter would have the opportunity to vote 'yes' or 'no' to all the detail of an Australian republic.
If more than half of all voting age Australians vote ‘yes’, and if more than half vote ‘yes’ in at least four of the six states, then the change would go ahead.
The Australian Republic Movement wants to have this referendum in 2022. Before then, we should also get a chance to vote on the basic questions - whether we should have an Australian as our head of state, and whether the head of state should be elected by the Parliament or by the voters.
This way, the people would be in charge of the plan for a republic from the start.
What is the plan for the republic campaign?
- 2015: Republic supporters came together from across Australia to join the movement - done!
- 2016-2017: Volunteers build a grassroots campaign to spread the message to as many people as possible - done!
- 2018: With supporters spreading the message, the republic becomes a national issue (get involved today)
- 2019: Government leaders consult the Australian people about becoming a republic, and the best proposals are added to a short-list for the public to vote on
- 2020: A national vote is held on the questions:
- ‘Should Australia have an Australian head of state?’
- 'How should we choose our head of state?’
- 2022: if most Australians think Australia should be a republic and we know how they want to choose their head of state, a final YES/NO vote (a 'referendum') will be held so Australians can decide our future for ourselves.
The Queen doesn’t contribute to our stability. The system is broken.
Australia has a stable democracy because Australians love a stable democracy, not because we have the King or Queen of the United Kingdom.
There are plenty of monarchies in the world that are not stable, like Thailand, the Solomon Islands and Saudi Arabia, and plenty of republics that are stable, like Ireland, Germany, France, Switzerland, the United States and India.
Our system of government in Australia is not perfect - but could make it stronger by having an Australian, chosen by Australians as our head of state.
We'll be able to become a republic at the same time as addressing everyday issues
Of course, there will always be pressing day-to-day issues – no one is saying that becoming a republic will improve hospitals or schools or cut power prices - but that shouldn’t stop us from making the system work better for us.
There are also some practical benefits to change. Having an Australian as our head of state would help our businesses who compete with English firms that use the monarchy to promote trade and investment. A republic would also tell the world Australia is strong and independent and makes its own decisions.
Becoming a republic is about having a more democratic and patriotic system for our nation's future. It's important and we should work together to get this done.
The ARM is a single-issue organisation.
The Australian Republic Movement campaigns for Australia to become a republic with an Australian as our head of state, and the more people that come together around this common goal the stronger we are. When Australia becomes a republic we can look forward to celebrating a moment in history that Australians can all collectively own – our independence day.
What about the Royal Family?
Lots of republic supporters respect the Queen. We also believe our next head of state should be chosen by Australians - not by being someone's first-born son. The Queen has always said that it’s up to Australians to decide for ourselves. It’s not about the royals – it’s about us.
As a republic within the Commonwealth, Australia will acknowledge the role the UK has played in our past, and future English monarchs will continue to visit. They would be welcomed as friends and equals by an Australian head of state.
Do we even need a head of state?
Every country has one – plus it’s good to have a someone who is above politics to represent the Australian nation and people.
What about constitutional changes to support Indigenous Australia?
The Australian Republic Movement is a campaign for Australia to be a republic with an Australian as our head of state. We work closely with and listen carefully to Indigenous leadership and community in our campaign. An Australian republic should acknowledge our nation's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage and the ongoing, central role of our First Peoples in our identity and shared future as Australians.
Is this about multiculturalism?
In a way, yes: becoming a republic is about declaring our unity as one Australian people, and sharing our allegiance to our fully independent Australian nation, whatever our cultural and linguistic background.
An Australian republic will honour and respect our unique Aussie identity drawn from people from all around the world and ensure that Australia's head of state should not be chosen on the basis of ethnicity or place of birth.
Every Australian should be equal in our democratic society.
Why doesn’t parliament just vote on it?
The only way to become a republic is to have a referendum (national vote) to change the constitution. This is because the constitution belongs to the people, not parliament, and only Australian voters have the power to change it.
Australia can afford to invest in democracy
We won’t be given a republic for free, but the government can afford it - just like they keep money aside to have elections, or keep Parliament running every year.
Keeping the monarchy doesn't come free either: if we are not a republic, we’ll have to change all our money when Charles becomes our King, and continue paying for royal visits.
Most Commonwealth countries are already republics
Most Commonwealth nations have already stepped up to become republics. Less than a third of member nations still have the Queen as their head of state. We will still host the Commonwealth Games and keep our close friendships with other nations, but we will be respected and recognised as fully independent.
An Australian republic is long overdue
A republic vote was narrowly lost last century. Since then Australia has become even more independent and has developed an even greater sense of our own national identity.
A new generation of Aussies want to have a say on the issue, including some young republic supporters who weren’t even born at the time of the last vote, and people who've become Australians in the past twenty years - and we want to give every Australian a say in what kind of republic is put forward in 2022.
What model of republic will Australia have?
An Australian republic would replace the King or Queen of England and the Governor-General with an Australian as head of state.
The Prime Minister would remain head of the Government and the parliament would pass laws like today.
Australians should be able to decide whether our head of state should be elected by voters or elected by the Parliament. The best way to make that decision is through a national vote, in 2020, before a full referendum in 2022.
What does a head of state do?
An Australian head of state would do the things currently done by the King or Queen of England and the Governor-General.
He or she would represent Australia overseas, welcome foreign leaders to our country, speak for our people on major national occasions like ANZAC Day, and be our leader at major national celebrations like football grand finals and commemorations like disaster memorials and military funerals.
We would have a person who sits above politics and who embodies community service.
They would also have the constitutional role in our government that the King or Queen of England and Governor-General have today.
Who are the Australian Republic Movement (ARM)?
The Australian Republic Movement represents millions of Aussies that want one of their own as head of state. We’ve been leading the conversation on Australian independence for over 25 years. Our campaign is powered by people in towns and cities across the country, and we help them become leaders to drive the conversation. If you’re passionate about your country we’d like you to
The ARM has supporters from ALL sides of politics
The Australian Republic Movement is a community organisation solely focused on making Australia a republic. Our supporters come from all sides of politics, and our members are regular Aussies who are proud of their country and interested in its future.