Australian Republic Movement
|National director||Sandy Biar|
|Australian Republic Movement|
The Australian Republic Movement (ARM) is a non-partisan member-based organisation campaigning for Australia to become an independent republic with an Australian as head of state. Australian constitutional law has provided since Federation in 1901 that the monarch of the United Kingdom is also the monarch of Australia. The Australian monarch is generally understood to be the head of state, although regal functions are ordinarily performed by a Governor-General and state Governors.
The ARM, then known as the Australian Republican Movement, was founded on 7 July 1991. Its first chairman was novelist Thomas Keneally, with other founding members including lawyer Malcolm Turnbull, later Prime Minister, former Australian cricket captain Ian Chappell, and film director Fred Schepisi. It is currently headed by journalist and author Peter FitzSimons.
Main article: 1999 Australian republic referendum
The Australian republic referendum, held on 6 November 1999, was a two-question referendum to amend the Constitution of Australia. For some years opinion polls had suggested that a majority of the electorate favoured a republic. Nonetheless, the republic referendum was narrowly defeated due to a range of factors, including a lack of bi-partisanship and division among republicans on the method proposed for selection of the president.
The ARM is undertaking a national consultation to seek the views of Australians about the substance of the constitutional reforms needed for Australia to have its constitutional independence from the British Monarchy. Once completed, the consultation will inform the ARM's decision about which model it should advocate to be taken forward to a referendum.
A referendum would give voters the choice between retaining the British Monarchy as the head of Australia, and Australia having its constitutional independence.
The ARM argues that Australia should replace the monarchy to become a republic with an Australian head of state. It contends that the benefits of this system are a head of state that can exclusively represent Australian interests, a system that better aligns with democratic institutions, a fully independent constitution and a head of state that can represent Australian values.
The ARM currently operates staffed campaign offices in Sydney and Canberra, and has branches active in all states and territories.