Australian Republic Movement
ChairpersonPeter FitzSimons
National directorSandy Biar
FoundedJuly 1991; 29 years ago (1991-07)
IdeologyAustralian republicanism
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.[1] 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.[2] 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.[3] It is currently headed by journalist and author Peter FitzSimons.[4]

1999 referendum

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.[5] 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.[6][7]


The ARM is undertaking a national consultation[8] 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.

Recent developments

The ARM currently operates staffed campaign offices in Sydney and Canberra, and has branches active in all states and territories.[9]

Notable supporters

See also


  1. ^ "Commonwealth of Australia Act 1900 (UK)". Federal Register of Legislation. Archived from the original on 26 June 2018. Retrieved 20 July 2018., covering clause 2. Hence Australia is a Commonwealth realm within the Commonwealth of Nations.
  2. ^ "Records of the Australian Republican Movement, 1987-2009". National Library of Australia. Archived from the original on 7 March 2017. Retrieved 12 June 2017.
  3. ^ The Coming Republic Archived 26 August 2020 at the Wayback Machine, Donald Horne, Sun Australia, page 10
  4. ^ "Peter FitzSimons appointed head of Australian Republican Movement". The Guardian. 19 July 2015. Archived from the original on 30 June 2020. Retrieved 27 June 2020.
  5. ^ "Polls on a republic 1999 - 2002" (PDF). Newspoll. November 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 June 2005. Retrieved 5 January 2008.
  6. ^ Turnbull, Malcolm (1999). Fighting for the Republic: the Ultimate Insider's Account. South Yarra: Hardie Grant Books. ISBN 1864981075.
  7. ^ Vizard, Steve (1998). Two Weeks in Lilliput: Bear Baiting and Backbiting at the Constitutional Convention. Ringwood: Penguin. ISBN 0140279830.
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 26 August 2020. Retrieved 12 May 2020.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ "Majority of parliamentarians support Australian republic". Archived from the original on 7 March 2017. Retrieved 7 March 2017.
  10. ^ Daley, Paul (23 February 2016). "Love him or hate him, Peter FitzSimons gives republicanism a megaphone". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 26 August 2020.
  11. ^ Fleur Anderson (26 August 2015). "Joe Hockey to lead republic push". The Australian Financial Review. Retrieved 22 September 2015.
  12. ^ Aston, Joe (4 November 2015). "Qantas boss Alan Joyce joins republican movement". Financial Review. Retrieved 28 November 2020.
  13. ^ "Edward Smout". | Australians at War Film Archive. University of New South Wales. Archived from the original on 26 August 2020. Retrieved 26 August 2020.
  14. ^ "A soldier and a gentleman". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 23 June 2004. Archived from the original on 26 August 2020. Retrieved 26 August 2020.
  15. ^ "Two-step plebiscite is only way Australia could be a republic, Malcolm Turnbull says". the Guardian. 26 November 2019. Archived from the original on 26 August 2020. Retrieved 26 August 2020.