Australia deserves an outstanding Australian head of state
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This Australia Day the Australian Republican Movement (ARM) wants Australians to reflect on who they think deserves to be our head of state. Western Australian ARM member Elizabeth Borello comments.
Patrick McGorry, Fiona Stanley, Cathy Freeman, Arthur Boyd, Fred Hollows, General Peter Cosgrove and Dame Joan Sutherland are all inspirational, remarkable Australians, who are previous Australians of the Year. None is eligible to be our Head of State.
From varying backgrounds, these prominent Australian citizens have made substantial contributions to their professions and the nation. They received the honour of Australian of the Year recognising what we as an egalitarian nation view as worthy of celebrating – merit, hard work and inspiring others.
When we celebrate on January 26, we are really celebrating as a nation which is proud of its practice of egalitarianism, its freedom and equal opportunity of the individual. However, as it stands, Australia’s system of constitutional monarchy means that our Head of State will always be the citizen of another country, someone who is appointed not on merit but of birthright, which is contrary to the ideals that we celebrate.
It is fair to say not all Australians of the Year would excel at the top job, but the point remains—they have no opportunity to do so. Only one member of one family can fill this role and that member is not an Australian, does not live here and rarely visits this country.
By promoting active citizenship and recognising worthy role models, the Australian of the Year Awards are a highlight of this country’s national day. Australia Day is a day when we come together as a nation to celebrate and reflect on what is essentially important to us as we continue to be one of the the most enviable country’s in the world. It is also a day that serves to remind us that Australia is capable of producing a home grown Head of State. In reality, the outstanding calibre of former Australians of the Year is evidence of this. As Australians, we should be confident our Head of State is suitably qualified to hold such a position, has achieved it through hard work and talent, and indeed deserves to be Australia’s Head of State!