Submission to Joint Select Committee on Constitutional Recognition Relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples

To the committee.

The Australian Republic Movement is building an inclusive, member controlled, volunteer-led campaign for Australia to become a republic with an Australian head of state. We call for a national vote by 2020 followed by a referendum by 2022 so Australia can decide our future and so Australians can have a head of state of our own.

We do not consider the Republic to be the only important constitutional question for our nation. We want to take this opportunity of your deliberations to restate our support for the Indigenous campaign for constitutional change. We do so humbly and with respect and as friends who are committed to listen at all times, to help when we are asked, and to recognise when we are not.

Since taking up the republic campaign in May last year, I have done a lot more listening than speaking or writing about Indigenous politics. That approach will continue – I come with my ears on – and our campaign will certainly not speak over Indigenous voices or force ourselves onto this vital cause.

So on behalf of the Australian Republic Movement, I submit that Australia should have a national vote on the Indigenous questions on the date and in the form that Indigenous leadership and community want it held.

Let’s get on with it together.

Michael Cooney

National Director & CEO

Zoe Bowman