Article Index

National Identity


A republic would enhance our national identity


Some republicans have chosen to try and help their cause by distorting history and encouraging the re-writing of the symbols of our national identity. There is a real nationalistic danger in many of these arguments, but there is no doubt that becoming a republic would be seen as a definitive break with Australia's history and past and a re-negotiation of the symbols of our national identity. We can't re-write history, as much as some people try. ACM is fighting to protect our working Australian democracy that grows and strengthens itself through evolution rather than revolution!


'Republicans claim that we should 're-negotiate our nation' and 'the symbols of our identity' through 'giant committees of young people'. Amongst the country's young there is a yearning for new symbols appropriate to a reinvented, or re negotiated nation in a reinvented world. If young people are not to pluck symbols from the air, or find themselves in anti-democratic or destructive movements, they must be given knowledge and the tools to help them create new symbols'.
Prof. D Horne (ARM founding member) "Teaching Young Australians to be Australian Citizens - A 2001 Centennial National Priority". 1994

'As a people perhaps our most significant attributes have been our tolerance, our sense of equality, our sense of fair play. All these have been fostered under our existing constitution. [Donald Horne's paper is] alarming in its emotionalism and nationalistic sentiments'.
National identity used to be a subject on which there was a broad measure of agreement between major parties. But the Keating Government is attempting to redefine national identity in a crudely self-serving way. ... ...
Our identify is so distinct and our shared values so robust that we cheerfully take them for granted unless something threatens them or someone challenges them. Our past is a legitimate source of pride as well as confidence and self-understanding.
The suggestion that we have yet to develop a proper identity, or that government can deliver us a new and improved one, treats us like children. It smacks of Big Brother. It also suggests that we need someone else to dream our dreams for us.'
The Hon J.W. Howard (Then Leader of the Opposition) Speech. 'A Reflection on the National Identity Debate' 13 December 1995.

'Australia's history can be denied but not undone. For better and for worse, it has made modern Australia. ... ... If becoming a republic is really necessary for Australia to be unique and distinctive, all the achievements of pre-republican Australia are devalued. Tom Keneally says that becoming a republic is like leaving home, the final step to adulthood. If so, most republicans seem intent on slamming the door on the way out.'
The Hon A.J. Abbott (former ACM Executive Director) "The Minimal Monarchy" pp63-70

'I could hardly credit it when the Prime Minister [Keating] began the most recent (of many in the past 150 years) republican pushes by head-butting the British. He accused them of betraying Australia's interests in both world wars and described opponents of republicans as 'bootlickers' and 'lickspittles' of the British.
Not to lay it on with a trowel, it is hard to forget republican Malcolm Turnbull's May 1992 assertion that non-republicans are less than Australian, ... ... [and that] those who support the monarchy despise themselves, they despise Australia and they despise Australians, [or] our republican Tom Keneally's St Patrick's Day 1993 description of the monarchy as 'a colostomy bag on Australia "
Frank Devine (Journalist) 'Republic mixes mystery and menace'. "The Australian" 29 September 1994

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