Australian Republican Movement Vision and Policy
What does the Australian Republican Movement (ARM) advocate?
What is an Australian Republic?
An Australian Republic is the final step in Australia’s continuing journey towards full independence and nationhood. It will have a resident Australian citizen as Head of State, chosen through a process that reflects Australian values of equality, fairness and democracy — not a foreign monarch appointed through a discriminatory process over which Australians have no control.
An Australian Republic will have an independent Australian Constitution unconnected to any British legislation, resting on the will and authority of the Australian people. It will preserve and enhance our democratic system of government and ensure its continuing strength and stability.
Why an Australian Republic?
1. An Australian Republic is about our place in the world. It’s about creating an unambiguous national identity. It’s about the way we see ourselves and the way we are seen by others.
2. An Australian Republic will remove our constitutional ties to a British monarch, who must be born into a particular family, must be Anglican, must not be married to a Catholic, must not be illegitimate and can only be a female if she has no brothers.
3. An Australian Republic will have a resident Australian citizen as Head of State, embodying and reflecting Australian values and devoting his or her full and undivided loyalty and attention to Australia and its people.
4. An Australian Republic will respect our diversity yet unite us as one, by:
● honouring our Indigenous heritage and culture, with its timeless connection to Australia’s land and sea;
● respecting our British heritage and its precious gifts, including our political and legal institutions; and
● celebrating our immigrant heritage of opportunity and endeavour, and its vital contribution to our national identity.
5. An Australian Republic will affirm the sovereignty of the Australian people, creating a fully and truly independent Australian nation with a resident Australian citizen as Head of State.
Much of the discussion about an Australian Republic in recent times has been about the method of appointment or election of the Head of State. This has often overlooked the framework needed to support the final preferred selection method.
The ARM recommends the following framework for an Australian Republic:
1.Australia to have an independent Constitution, resting solely on the will and authority of the Australian people, unconnected to any British legislation.
2. Australia’s Head of State to be a resident Australian citizen.
3.Australia’s Head of State to have powers similar to those of the Governor-General.
4. Australia’s Constitution to have all obsolete references to the monarchy removed and to have all active references to the monarchy and the Governor-General replaced with references to Australia’s Head of State.
5.Australia’s Head of State to be dismissed only by a significant majority vote of the Federal Parliament.
This framework will ensure that our existing parliamentary and federal system of government will continue to flourish regardless of the selection method. The ARM fully supports Australia remaining in the Commonwealth as a republic, as are the majority of Commonwealth nations.
The ARM advocates the Australian people deciding on the appropriate selection method for Australia’s Head of State. The ARM will support the selection method preferred by the Australian people and will campaign for it.
Examples of selection methods that would work with the ARM’s recommended framework include:
1.Election by the Australian people from a list of candidates chosen by the Australian people.
2.Election by the Australian people from a list of candidates chosen by the Federal Parliament.
3.Election by a significant majority vote of the Federal Parliament from a list of candidates chosen by the Australian people.
4.Election by a council of Australians chosen by the Australian people.
Pathway to an Australian Republic — the process
The ARM recommends the following process for achieving an Australian Republic. Each of the following steps should be supported by the public consultation and education necessary to ensure that all Australians are fully informed and involved in this important decision about our nation’s future:
1.A non-binding plebiscite on a threshold question along the following lines: ‘Do you want Australia to become a republic by replacing the British monarch with a resident Australian citizen as Head of State?’.
2. After extensive consultation with the Australian people on the possible forms of an Australian Republic, including the selection method for the Head of State, a second non-binding plebiscite to determine the form of Australian Republic preferred by the Australian people.
3. A referendum, as required by the Constitution, offering a choice between adopting the form of an Australian Republic preferred by the Australian people and keeping the Constitution unchanged, that is retaining the British monarch as the Australian Head of State.
Our Republic — The People’s Choice
An Australian Republic must reflect the sovereignty and will of the Australian people. The framework, options for selection method and process described above will achieve this aim. The ARM stands ready to work with the Australian people on this important national journey.
What is the ARM?
The ARM is a volunteer, non-party-political, self-funding, single-issue advocacy organisation.