Let’s have a public holiday of our own
Australia should replace royal birthdays with a public holiday of our own.
In 2019, Australian governments should join together with a new ‘Citizens Day’ holiday in
September to strengthen Australian citizenship. This could build on existing activities for the
anniversary of the Australian Citizenship Act in September 1948.
Australians are not subjects - we are citizens.
The pledge of Australian citizenship calls for loyalty “to Australia and its People”. Australian
citizens are bound to share our democratic beliefs, respect our rights and liberties, and uphold
and obey our laws.
What better way is there to celebrate the best in our country than with a new Citizens Day
public holiday? A new day, dedicated to democracy, freedom and the law would be a
modern, unifying Australian institution.
The royal birthday holidays don’t remind us of anything good about our country. At worst,
they tell us Australia’s head of state gets the job by inheritance and that Australians are
subject to a foreign crown – the opposite of democracy and liberty.
The Queen has turned 92 twice already this year – on the anniversary of her birth in April, in
Victoria and other states in June. And she has two more to come - in WA this weekend, and
in Queensland in a few weeks’ time!
A future King Charles Birthday holiday would be even more ridiculous – every royal public
holiday in Australia would be before the actual anniversary of his birth on 17 November back
Australians can do better!
Michael Cooney, National Director and CEO, Australian Republic Movement
+61 417 248 650