Jan 1

1999 news archive

  • 15 November 1999: Also in The Australian, Susan Mitchell attempts to specifically analyse what influenced the women's vote. In her view, the ARM and the YES campaign failed to appeal to women because their pitch was permeated with male culture. Read her opinion.
  • 14 November: Details of YES campaign polling available two months before the vote is reported in The Australian. It showed that the country was divided on the republic issue on the basis of income and education. Not until income levels reached $50 000 pa did the republic attract a majority vote, and even then only 50 percent (women are less represented at this income level which covers the top 10 percent of income earners). Those with tertiary education and those taking an interest in current affairs were more likely to vote in favour of the republic.
  • 12 November: Professor John Warhurst of the ANU analysed the referendum result in his weekly column in The Canberra Times and comments on the huge gender gap evident. He writes, "A majority of men may have voted for the republic. Women were solidly and strongly for the NO case, despite the attempt by the YES campaign to promote women's voices. Various untested reasons have been attested for this phenomenon, such as admirable female caution, the Women's Weekly affection for the Queen and lack of political knowledge." He finishes by saying that much more thinking and research is necessary before this and many other aspects of the result are well understood.
  • 11 November: in South Africa for a Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting, the Queen faced 200 demonstrators protesting against British war atrocities during the Boer War outside her hotel; the royal cavalcade is reported to have swept past although the Queen later issued a statement of regret.
  • 9 November: In the ACT, which voted heavily for the republic, Chief Minister, Kate Carnell, said the defeat at the ballot box had not diminished her hopes that a republic would be achieved within 10 years. She now feels that only direct election for the President would be supported by the majority of Australians. Her opinion is that the defeat of the republic was due to opposition to the proposed model and deep divisions among republic supporters about the method of selecting the President.
  • 9 November: The Prime Minister is reported as resisting suggestions that the Government should create the Governor-General as "head of state" and retitle the job as "President".
  • 8 November: in England, our Head of State issued this statement about the republic result (click here). WfaAR notes the tendency of the British press to report the result as a resounding vote in favour of the monarchy with some amusement and was interested that scenes of jubilation from Sydney purported to be for referendum result shown on British TV were, in fact, celebrations for Australia's Rugby World Cup win on the same night. Also in the British press were reports that the Queen was both disturbed and surprised about the strength of anti-royalty sentiment in Australia and that this could lead to her being urged to send the Windsors' "secret weapon" to Australia in the form of Prince William, to shore up her support.
  • 8 November: among the few women journalists analysing the result, Michelle Grattan in The Sydney Morning Herald thinks that wiser heads will rule the republic debate from now on. Her view is that until the cynicism of voters - and particularly the battlers - about the political process can be successfully addressed, the republic is doomed. Louise Dodson in The Financial Review comments that the republic will be a long time coming given the growing polarisation of the republic debate between the two major parties, conservative desires for the anti-change mood to be heeded and moves by the Prime Minister to close down the debate.
  • 8 November: Janet Holmes a Court, businesswoman and prominent campaigner in favour of the republic said in Perth that the change required to shift to a direct election model was huge and would be difficult to achieve. She also said that the nation had foregone a great opportunity at the referendum, adding that she was very disappointed with the result.
  • 7 November: While the republicans absorbed the result, early analyses only were evident in discussing the referendum outcome focussed mainly on the conduct of the campaign, the adequacy of funding, the role of the Prime Minister and the difficulty in selling the complex presidential selection model. Before long, attention will turn to how women voted and what did or didn't influence their vote.
  • 7 November: WfaAR acknowledges the contribution and leadership of Kerry Jones from Sydney, Executive Director of Australians for a Constitutional Monarchy and chair of the NO campaign who was the leading woman in the debate. She did a difficult job, very well. Out in the mainstream, Robert Macklin in The Canberra Times of 6 November described her manner as "carping" and noted that it would be relief not to have to listen to her anymore.  Other women prominently associated with the NO campaign were Melbourne barrister and spokesperson for ACM, Sophie Panopoulos and Melbourne barrister and later Anti-Discrimination Commissioner for Tasmania, Dr Jocelynne Scutt.
  • 7 November: both referendum questions fail. The NO vote for the republic was 54.2% nationally while over 60% voted against the Preamble recognising indigenous people, immigrants and our democratic system of government (with about 75% of the vote counted). Only one State - Victoria - voted in favour of the republic at a touch over 50% while the ACT recorded the highest vote for the republic at 64% YES. Affluent city electorates held by the Liberal party and safe Labor seats generally voted YES for the republic nationally while mid range and lower socio-economic Labor seats generally voted NO. The big NO vote came from the bush, many rural electorates recording almost 80% opposed.
  • 6 November: Remember to vote and then follow the State and Territory count in the virtual tallyroom on the Electoral Commission's website at www.referendum.aec.gov.au There is no actual national tally room for the first time. ABC TV will do two reports on progress during the evening - check your local TV guide for times - or keep an eye on the ABC's referendum '99 site at www.abc.net.au/news/referendum99/default.htm

In order to succeed, the vote in favour of the republic must be carried in four of the six States plus there must be an overall national majority of votes as well. The ACT and NT votes count in the national total only. The same applies to the second referendum question on the preamble to the Constitution.

  • 4 November: big swing to the YES vote in Canberra, up to 70 percent, is recorded. However, the preamble is headed for defeat being described in the press as a casualty of the republic with only 30% support.
  • 3 November: Richard McGregor writing in The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the yawning gender gap over the republic comes as no surprise to political professionals. Women see it bringing no practical benefits to their families and households and give it low priority. The Newspoll survey this week found that only 36 percent of women would vote for the republic compared with 49 percent of men
  • 2 November: Professor Marilyn Lake believes that many women are against the republic because they see the Queen as a maternal figure and that the gender of the monarch is almost certainly working against the republic. She also said that the presidential nominations process was important for women.  "The two thirds majority model is not elitist, quite the opposite. It stands the best chance of political minorities receiving appropriate representation and recognition." The Australian also reported that thousands of women will vote the republic down this weekend.
  • 2 November: The polls show a swing in the direction of YES and that the vote is likely to be very close on Saturday.
  • 1 to 6 November: Keep up with the republic news this week at ABC on-line: www.abc.net.au/news for the headlines as they happen and on its referendum '99 site at: www.abc.net.au/news/referendum99/default.htm
  • 31 October: At 17, Rachel Massey will be too young by six days to vote on 6 November. Read her views about the republic and what she is doing to advocate for YES at Women Say.
  • 30 October: Maria Crowley, described as a mother of seven in The Canberra Times, has been participating in a survey of three swinging voters over the last few weeks on the local ABC radio station. Katharyn Heagney reports that Maria was originally leaning towards NO because, "she was reluctant to change for change's sake" and that she did not want another America with "the one big man at the top backed by all the money." Maria said she felt initially ill-informed because of all the political jargon. She has now decided to vote YES influenced by media reports of the NO campaign's "manipulation" of the referendum question in an effort to "divide republicans".
  • 29 October: Senator Amanda Vanstone claims that Sir Robert Menzies would have been a republican if he had been born in the 1940s. Commenting on the campaign, she said that people had switched off to the republic debate because of their dislike of the "typically Australian, two-party, knock-them-down politics" that had dominated so far. Others politicians are also concerned, or even depressed, about lack of interest by voters. The NO case polling is showing that YES voters are concentrated in the high income groups (from The Australian which pictured ACTU official, Jenny Doran, campaigning for the republic on a construction site in Melbourne).
  • 28 October: In the country of our current head of state, removing the system of hereditary peers sitting in the House of Lords is proving controversial - one was thrown out of the chamber during the debate after jumping on the the woolsack in protest. The Leader of the Lords, life peer Baroness Jay said it, "was time to say thank you and goodbye to the hereditaries" and that the current Lords is, "a vastly undemocratic set-up, in which huge numbers of people are born to automatic right to seats in the Houses of Parliament at the end of the 20th century going into the 21st century." The Government plans for a reformed upper house to be in place by the time of the next general election in 2002, although it remains unclear how it will be chosen. WfaAR comment: the Brits realise that hereditary institutions are long past their use by date and so should we - but Australia could be a useful source of advice on selection/election models!
  • 28 October: In Darwin, Aged Care Minister, Bronwyn Bishop is campaigning for the NO case. In a radio interview, she says of changes to the Royal Australian Airforce, "Taking the Royal off and turning the RAAF into the AAF would cost a hell of a lot of money." WfaAR wonders exactly how much money the changes would cost and if they can be absorbed into running expenses over time?

    In Queensland, Pauline Hanson's One Nation party believes that any change to the Constitution would disrupt law and order. The State parliamentary leader said,"we put at risk the Christian basis of our fundamental laws and our common laws". WfaAR views this as completely untrue and scaremongering of the highest order. (Both reports from The Sydney Morning Herald).

  • 27 October: Another poll published in The Australian confirmed the slump in support for the republic. Of 1153 interviews (city and country), 44 percent of women - compared with 48 percent of men - preferred a republic with a directly elected president, 12 percent favoured the parliamentary appointment model while 40 percent wanted for no change. Only 4 percent were undecided.
  • 27 October: The Attorney-General confirms that women and men veterans who are receiving military pensions are eligible to be appointed as President after claims by a Queensland constitutional monarchist and retired judge that they would not be (see Section 44 of the proposed Constitution which clearly states veterans' eligibility).
  • 26 October: In Canberra, Dr Pamela Ryan, organiser of the deliberative poll defends allegations by the NO group that participants were brainwashed and manipulated and that key NO spokespeople were dropped as panellists at the last minute. Kerry Jones of ACM said that their phones had been running hot with complaints (reported in The Sydney Morning Herald).
  • 26 October: Polls show support for the YES case plunging with people switching from YES to undecided. Support for the preamble has also fallen but is still likely to be passed. Only 27 percent of women were leaning to YES for the republic compared with 39 percent of men (sample 2065, city and country).

    Margo Kingston writing in The Sydney Morning Herald reports Professor Marian Sawer's comments on the lack of support among women for the republic. Professor Sawer's research has shown that the idea of replacing the Queen with an Australian head of state has always had less appeal because women are "less attracted than men to themes of separation, independence and self-reliance and more attracted to themes of connection and security. Apron strings and the need to cut them have been very much part of the discourse of masculine independence." Earlier in the year, Professor Sawer's view was that republicans should meld the masculine pitch with reconciliation and an inclusive preamble because women were attracted to referendums that delivered more equity but she noted that ARM had taken no notice. She says "the only way to swing women so late in the debate is to "stress the safety of the model".

    Senator Marise Payne of NSW has a different opinion saying that women were too busy working and running households to have sufficient grasp of the facts and that they don't have time to go looking for them. She is critical of the lack of basic facts provided by the YES campaign, a gap which the monarchists are filling with wrong information. She thinks many voters now believe that the republic will result in a change to the national flag and all the coins being melted down, neither of which are true.

  • 24 October: The deliberative poll winds up in Canberra. Among the 350 delegates, there was a huge shift favouring YES case from 53% as surveyed six weeks before the event to 73% today, while support for direct election plunged dropped dramatically. Analysts were cautious about interpretation of the result in favour of the YES vote on 6 November but noted that the more informed people were about both sides of the argument for the republic, the less likely they were to support direct election.
  • 23 October: Visit these two informative republic sites: the YES...and MORE campaign at www.yesandmore.org  and The Australian Republic Referendum maintained by Louise Nordestgaard of Adelaide at http://www.users.bigpond.com/lnord . The latter has the text of the draft Preamble in top spot right on the front page. Also on the site you are on now in both our Hot Topics and the Preamble Sections.
  • 23 October: Anne Finnane is the Coordinator of a small group of people in the Eastwood area of Sydney who have launched the William Deane for President campaign; their website is at: www.presidentdeane.com    This campaign is not endorsed by Women for an Australian Republic because we want the first President to be a woman (see About Us) but we include this item for the information of our readers and to show how women are active in the republic campaign.
  • 22 October: Margaret Ryan of Whittlesea Victoria writes to The Australian to say that she is voting YES after hearing the NO campaign song which sorted out all the issues for her.
  • 22 October: Women for an Australian Republic writes to The Australian to counter the views that only direct election will deliver a woman President - our view is that only the model on offer on 6 November will achieve this objective. This followed publicity given to Dr Jocelynne Scutt of Tasmania earlier in the week. We were also interviewed on this matter by ABC radio in Canberra on 18 October. Read the full text of our letter "YES means woman president more likely" - which headlined the Letters to the Editor page - and the varying views on this matter in Hot Topics, including Jocelynne Scutt's article from The Australian of 18 October.
  • 22 October: Elva Batt, 79, an ex-servicewoman from Greenacre NSW is undecided about her republic vote. The Australian reports that she is travelling to Canberra this weekend to take part in the deliberative poll at Old Parliament House, where 350 randomly selected people will gather to hear key personalities from YES and NO cases before indicating how they intend to vote. Mrs Batt's decision will be influenced by what she thinks is best for her grandchildren.
  • 21 October: The Australian's list of 18 potential Presidents includes seven women: Janet Holmes a Court (WA); Dr Lowitja O'Donoghue (SA); Mrs Hazel Hawke (WA/NSW); Justice Mary Gaudron of the High Court (NSW); Dame Leonie Kramer (NSW); Evonne Goolagong Cawley (NSW/USA); Justice Elizabeth Evatt (NSW).
  • 20 October: At a launch for women politicians supporting the republic at federal Parliament House in Canberra, Senator Amanda Vanstone from SA said humorously," We accept that women can say 'no', but on this occasion, we choose not to." This was reported in the Sydney Morning Herald on its quirky Stay in Touch page under the headline "Girlie Guide to the Republic", the politicians attending were described as "giggling Gerties".
  • 20 October: YES campaign launches Mothers for the Republic. The Australian featured the Adelaide rally while The Canberra Times pictured Karen Munzel, ACT ARM fundraising organiser with her three children: Freia 6, Chiara 4 and Aidan 2.  Find out what mothers are saying about the republic at Women Say.
  • 19 October: Susanne Martain of Eora Country (Sydney) writes to the Queen on behalf of Australian citizens who think that might be committing treason if they vote YES. Read her letter in Women Say.
  • 19 October: Stephanie Peatling interviews two young women working on the YES Committee media campaign who will "only take YES for an answer". They are Rebecca Huntley and Julie Smith, both 26. Like the third staff member, Ms Anastasia Polites, they are studying part-time and spending the rest of their time on the republican cause. From the Sydney Morning Herald.
  • 19 October: David Marr of the Sydney Morning Herald notes that the Queen is no longer described as Australia's Head of State on her website - rather, she has become our "sovereign".
  • 19 October: ACT Chief Minister, Kate Carnell, tells us that veterans fought for our future as an independent nation. She was speaking at the launch of Veterans for the Republic in Canberra.
  • 18 October: The Queen has allegedly told Prince Andrew that he cannot remarry Sarah Ferguson. The Australian asks if this is the sort of dictatorial person that we want to retain as our Head of State.
  • 17 October: Where are young women discussing the republic on the Internet? Check out the Australian Republic Debate Discussion Forum at www.republicdebate.com.au
  • 15 October: Ms Jennie George, president of the Australian Council of Trade Unions sends a personal message to all unionists calling on them to campaign passionately for a republic; unionists are present in 74% of all Australian workplaces. From The Sydney Morning Herald.
  • 14 October: A bookmaker in the Northern Territory has the monarchists 8-11 favourites to beat the republicans in Australia's first legal betting market on a referendum. Despite the NO case being favourite overall, the bookmaker also has the YES getting up in four States - NSW, Victoria, Western Australia and Tasmania!
  • 13 October: Both younger voters and mothers with young children at home are being targeted by the YES and NO camps as key voters on 6 November. Women at home are believed to be more wary of change and want convincing that any move is sensible and not costly. The monarchists believe that they want more detail than they are getting. Reported in The Australian.
  • 13 October: YES committee spokeswoman, Wendy McCarthy called on the Federation of Australian Commercial Television Stations to withdraw its authorisation for the NO case advertisements. Republicans are complaining that the anthem being used by the NO case is misleading. From The Canberra Times.
  • 13 October: Senator Amanda Vanstone from South Australia criticises the "bullying and belittling" now evident in the republican debate. She said that the country needs discussion "that persuades and inspires rather than people who are adept and experienced at head-kicking using those skills destructively". She also challenged the NO case to produce an inspirational argument for retaining the monarchy. From The Sydney Morning Herald.
  • 12 October: At a republic debate organised by The Australian at Ipswich Qld, Cheryl Kernot, opposition spokesperson on employment, said that the proposed change to a republic would provide Australia with an even safer constitutional system. She said that the change was not a radical one nor even everyone's preferred option. But she said, it is safe and an opportunity to "symbolically stand on our own two feet, without any risk to our parliamentary system and our democratic traditions." Reported in The Australian.

At the same debate, Mary Kelly, a unionist and direct election supporter at last year's Constitutional Convention is now behind the YES...and More campaign. She said, "I would still rather a yes and more than a no and wait. I am a republican and I don't think there is place for the British monarchy in modern Australia." Also reported in The Australian.

  • 11 October: At a laid-back republican gathering and sausage sizzle held at the site of Williamstown lifesaving club - aka the Pearl Bay courthouse in Seachange - Huong Truong, a Year 10 student from Victoria said," I reckon an Australian should be our Head of State because what's the use of the Queen? She does very little for Australia and mainly gets the Governor-General to do all her work in regards to Australia." Report from The Australian.
  • 11 October: Hazel Hawke warns that is it "just plain dopey" for Australians to retain the monarchy. Read Hazel's other comments in Women Say.
  • 11 October: The Prime Minister's residence at Kirribilli in Sydney is open to the public for inspection. One woman visiting commented that she thought it was a monarchist plot to let everyone through one month before the vote on the republic.
  • 11 October: Our Head of State lacks influence in her own country; the Queen referred to as "the British state figurehead" is not the most powerful woman in the United Kingdom. Good Housekeeping magazine has released its list of the 100 most influential women in Britain. Elizabeth II only comes in at 89! Top of the list is Elisabeth Murdoch, 31 year old managing director of satellite TV company, Sky Networks - see how many you recognise in the BBC's report at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/uk/newsid_466000/466518.stm
  • 11 October: Women for an Australian Republic notes the decided lack of female voices and opinions on the republic in the mainstream print and electronic media.
  • 11 October: Will you be away from home on 6 November? - prepoll voting has already commenced, contact your nearest Australian Electoral Commission office. If you can't wait to have your say on the republic, try one of these sites for republic interactive and surveys: Senator Marise Payne www.ozemail.com.au/~paynem/ or Senator Kate Lundy www.katelundy.dynamite.com.au   or in the non-partisan publication On Line Opinion which has a poll on the republic at www.onlineopinion.com.au/Sep99/poll.htm and a forum at www.onlineopinion.com.au/discussion.htm.
  • 10 October: The Australian features six women in 13 vox pops on the republic. One from WA supports the republic; one from Queensland is undecided but probably YES; one from WA is undecided and the remaining three are intending NO voters. On the preamble: two of the NO republic voters support the preamble; while all the other four are undecided. Ages range from 20 to 49.
  • 10 October: The Australian correctly labels the choice on 6 November as "Royalty or the Republic". It also reports that Cathy Freeman, well known Australian indigenous athlete, has publicly announced that she is for the republic.
  • 9 October: One Nation Senator Len Harris said discussion about the Windsors was usually emotional and of no substance but "behind the guff in women's magazines was a reality that the royal family constitutionally protected Australian citizens". Senator Harris does not shy from mentioning the Queen unlike other supporters of the NO case. He also says that he has spoken at 122 public meetings in the last year and gathered the views of ordinary citizens - about 82 percent of people he has spoken to are against the republic. Reported in The Australian.
  • 9 October: A Newspoll survey shows that only 14 percent of voters (no gender dissection provided) approved of the model for selection of the President being put to the referendum. The Australian reports that an overwhelming majority of republicans and 50 percent of all voters still prefer a directly elected President.

WfaAR notes that there was no follow-up question in this poll about whether these voters would vote YES and that many supporters of the YES vote are direct election supporters who will vote YES on 6 November anyway. The Australian's Newspoll of last week showed that 49 percent were intending to vote YES, 46 percent NO and 4 percent were undecided.

  • 8 October: Huge last minute surge in people enrolling to vote for the referendum. The number of registered voters is estimated at about 12.2 million.
  • 7 October: Labor Member for Canberra, Bob McMullan, calls on the Prime Minister to pull his republic "henchmen", Tony Abbott and Nick Minchin, into line for spending too much time on the republic.
  • 6 October: Mr Getano Lui, chair of the Torres Strait Islands Coordinating Council urges his people to boycott the referendum in protest against Australia's failure to heed the demands of the people of the Torres Strait for autonomy. The islands of the Torres Strait have been threatening to secede from Australia since 1988.
  • 6 October: University of Sydney Chancellor and staunch monarchist, Dame Leonie Kramer says that it is unfortunate that the republican debate is being held in "an age of slogans and three-sentence snatches for television". Reported in The Australian.
  • 4 October: The Australian Republican Movement claims that a poll showing that 23 percent of voters were undecided (see our item of 3 October) was incorrect and that their polling shows that only 10 percent are undecided.
  • 4 October: The official cases for YES and NO are now being delivered to all registered voters - this is a 72 page booklet issued by the Australian Electoral Commission explaining the YES and NO cases on the Republic and the Preamble.
  • 3 October: A poll conducted for Sydney tabloid, The Sun-Herald, showed support for the republic at its lowest level so far with 38 percent intending to vote YES on 6 November, 35 percent against and 23 percent Don't Know (617 voters in NSW and Victorian city and country areas on 1-2 October). The pollster concluded that basic mistrust of politicians was threatening the success of the YES case.

    The poll showed support slipping in NSW and Victoria. 62 percent of the YES voters wanted an Australian as Head of State while 14 percent thought that the monarchy was not right for Australia. Of the intended NO voters, 27 percent couldn't see any reason to change while 20 percent wanted a republic but not this version.

    Of the women polled, 33 percent intended to vote YES (compared with 43 percent of men) while 34 percent of women were in favour of the British monarch (compared with 36 percent of men). 70 percent thought that the people should vote for the president.

    90 percent of those polled said they were not influenced by Prince Charles' relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles; 86 percent said they were not influenced by East Timor and 81 percent had no suggestion for who should be the first president.

  • 2 October: Older Canberrans are strong supporters of the republic and featured in The Canberra Times by reporter Emma McDonald are Mrs Dorothy Collings 77 and Miss Imelda Fleming 71, both active members of the local branch of the Australian Republican Movement.

    "Mrs Collings was a teenager when it occurred to her that Australia was an entirely separate country from Britain. 'I would hear people talking about taking a trip 'home' to England and I thought 'how curious, Australia is their home'.

    Miss Fleming was a young student of political science at the Australian National University when she first considered the viability of a republic. She says that there is no more appropriate time to move to a republic than on the 100th anniversary of Federation. 'It really is time for us to choose to have one of our own as Head of State.'

    Mrs Collings says that older people have nothing to fear in the move, 'We still have our history and many of us will still have strong ties to Britain.' "

    Read what has influenced Imelda Fleming to support the republic.

  • 1 October: A pro-republican statement signed by Diana Stainlay, President of the NSW Young Nationals and her NSW Young Liberal counterpart, aligning them with NSW Young Labor, has caused havoc. Melissa Roberts, President of ACT Young Liberals criticised her colleagues saying that they were completely out of step with the national Young Liberal movement and describing their stance as "immature". Other Young Liberals described the action as weird, misguided and wrong.
  • 29 September: The Federal Government's youth advisory body comes out overwhelming in favour of an Australian Republic. 40 of the 50 delegates at the Youth Roundtable meeting in Canberra said they are in favour of an Australian head of state to be confirmed by a two-thirds majority of federal parliamentarians.
  • 28 September: Lady Bjelke-Petersen, president of Queenslanders for Constitutional Monarchy, believes that the crisis in East Timor will convince Australians to vote NO in the referendum on 6 November. She adds that the referendum was certain to fail in Queensland, claiming that a second referendum would be necessary to remove the British monarch as King or Queen of the State (reported in The Australian)
  • 27 September: The Sydney Morning Herald reports on republican feeling in Queensland. Quoted is Mrs Betty Smout whose husband's brother, Ted now 101, is a founding father of the Australian Republican movement in Queensland. She says that she feels strongly about Australia becoming a republic, "Passionate about it? I'm rabid," Mrs Smout said and she went on to say," A lot of people including monarchists, say it's inevitable. I say, 'Why not now?'. We should be accepted a Australians, rather than as a colonial offshoot of Britain?"

    Ms Kerry Jones from ACM says that Queensland is the strongest NO state with the undecided vote at about 40 percent.

    Tony Stephens' article also reports that Mary Kelly, one of the Queensland delegates at the Constitutional Convention in 1998, has joined the YES....and MORE group.

  • 26 September: There is one important voice missing from the debate on the republic - the churches. So says Ms Margaret Hardy, a PhD student at the Australian Catholic University in a September edition of the ANU Reporter - read her comments
  • 24 September: The Australian reports the views of Liberal Party republicans printed in the Liberal moderates magazine "Options". One of the contributors is Mrs Christine Gallus, Member for Hindmarsh (SA). In her essay, Mrs Gallus writes, " I want a Head of State who has enjoyed the warmth of the Indian Ocean and has tasted the salt of the Pacific. I want a Head of State who knows the pain of drought and the relief of rain." The paper describes her essay as "emotional".
  • 24 September: The ARM launches its grassroots campaign and its YES colours - green and gold: a bottle green "yes" in handwriting over the white stars of the Southern Cross on a gold background. The launch was by Hazel Hawke and Ron Barassi.
  • 23 September: Deputy ARM chair, Wendy Machin, has a piece in the Opinion section of The Australian on why we owe it to our kids to vote YES on 6 November.
  • 23 September: The ACM's major effort to provide an intellectual basis for voting down the republic at the referendum is released (available at www.norepublic.com.au). The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the forward was written by Dame Leonie Kramer, Chancellor of the University of Sydney.
  • 20 September: The Australian Electoral Commission's referendum pamphlet can now be read at: www.referendum.aec.gov.au
  • 19 September: a group of Perth women republicans launch the YES...and More campaign for WA in Perth. For more information about YES...and More, click here.
  • 19 September: Canberra runner Helen Palethorpe joins with a team of men as Team Republic in a community fun-run. The team is "running for the republic" resplendent in Vote YES, YES, YES T shirts. The team was pictured in last Monday's Canberra Times practising for the event.
  • 18 September: YES...and More supporter Dorothy McRae-McMahon of NSW is reported in The Australian as saying that she believes the ARM is open to having another Constitutional Convention even though she doesn't think that it comes across very strongly because, "they want to project their own case in their own style."
  • 17 September: NSW Liberal Leader, Kerry Chikarovski, is facing a backlash from certain parts of her electorate after her announcement to back the YES case. One of her local branches is preparing to move a vote of no-confidence against her.
  • 16 September: Australians for A Constitutional Monarchy has decided to drop personal attacks after consistently labelling republicans as Chardonnay elitists, boring speakers and cocktail smoothies leaving the way open for a Hitler-like dictatorship. ACM says it now intends arguing the merits of the republic model for the next 50 days.
  • 15 September: All political leaders in Tasmania come out supporting the YES case at a public function in Hobart. Liberal Opposition leader, Mrs Sue Napier and Green MP, Ms Peg Putt were joined by the Labor Premier each pledging to back the YES campaign. This is most encouraging as Tasmania has been regarded as one State sure to vote to retain the monarchy until now.  Read this report from ACT ARM convenor, Anne Witheford on her trip to northern Tasmania to campaign for the YES vote.
  • 15 September: Prime Minister refuses permission for Justice Minister, Senator Amanda Vanstone, to appear at a republican forum in Adelaide. He then asked Industry Minister, Senator Nick Minchin, to withdraw from the same event. The Government has decided that Liberal Ministers should not debate each other in public.
  • 11 September: Wide circulation Sydney tabloid, The Daily Telegraph, features the Women for an Australian Republic website in its Republic Web Watch spot.
  • 10 September: Ms Kerry Jones, Executive Director of Australians for a Constitutional Monarchy announced that polling showed that between 40 and 50 percent of Australian voters were undecided about how they would vote in the referendum on the republic.
  • 9 September:The official YES and NO cases were submitted to the Australian Electoral Commission for publication and will be mailed to about 12 million voters between 4 and 22 October.
  • 8 September: Hong Kong born broadcaster Adrienne Clarkson has been announced as Canada's new Governor-General. She is the second woman to hold the post; the first was Jeanne Sauve from 1984 to 1990. The appointment breaks a long tradition of the appointment of former politicians to the largely ceremonial post. Announcing the appointment, Prime Minister Jean Chretien was asked about Canada retaining the British monarchy with the British monarch continuing as head of state in Canada in the light of Australia's coming referendum, he said," There is no controversy in Canada. There is no big drama in Canada." Changes to the Canadian constitution require the unanimous approval of the federal government and the ten provincial governments.
  • 1 September: Senator Amanda Vanstone is reported in The Sydney Morning Herald as organising South Australian women in the Federal Parliament from the Liberal, Labor and Democrats parties in a show of support for the YES campaign. The YES vote is currently polling poorly in SA. In addition, Labor member of the House of Representatives and Vietnam veteran from Western Australia, Mr Graham Edwards, is organising a "Veterans for the Republic" group.
  • 29 August: Wendy Machin, ARM Deputy Chair speaking at a Town Hall address in Ballarat, Victoria organised by The Australian newspaper challenges the monarchists to tell Australians why they are not good enough to be Head of State. "They need to tell the truth to Australians about why they really want the British monarch to remain our head of state", she said. Read ARM's press release about Wendy's speech.
  • 26 August: "Of course we can become a republic without changing our flag" declared Senator Natasha Stott Despoja in Canberra. "I'm unashamed. I'd like to see a new flag. I've always wanted a flag that reflects our aspirations for the future, that recognises meaningful reconciliation between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians, celebrates the beauty of this nation and the fact that we're part of the Commonwealth but not beholden to a foreign power. The flag is a secondary issue but one that I look forward to debating after we become a republic." Reported in The Australian.
  • 26 August: Signs that the republic debate is going to get intensely personal. Former senator Reg Withers, who is heading the NO campaign in WA described the republicans as "a boring, dreary lot..... They all look like bloodshot dachshunds." This followed less than flattering remarks on personalities associated with the YES case by ACM campaign director, Mr David Elliott. The ACM have also decided to put some "life and fun" back into the campaign.
  • 25 August: Young women politicians put their case for YES at an event in Canberra organised by Young Australians for a Republic and Women for an Australian Republic. Cleverly and wittily, Tanya Plibersek, federal ALP Member for Sydney, Senator Marise Payne, Liberal Senator for NSW and Rachael Jacobs, National President of the Australian Young Democrats demolished the NO case. Particular targets were members of the British Royal family and their irrelevance to Australia in the 21st century.
  • 24 August: The Canberra Times prints letter from Lindy Edwards of ACT Young Australians for a Republic. Lindy argues that "It's better to vote YES this time".
  • 23 August - is the start of National Constitution Week. Contact the Constitution Centenary Foundation in your State capital, Canberra and Darwin for details of many events and debates about the republic in August and September. See Events for further details.
  • 18 August - The Australian features young women who attended the 1998 Constitutional Convention and who continue to play an active part in the debate on the November 6 referendum. Mia Handshin, a law student and 1999 Young South Australian of the Year, writes supporting the YES case: "We have the opportunity to play a significant part in shaping our nation's future" while a spokesperson for Australians for a Constitutional Monarchy, Sophie Panopoulos, a barrister from Melbourne, says she has been converted from republicanism: "The ARM insults debate by masking republicanism as nationalism".
  • 17 August - Latest Newspoll released in The Australian shows that 46 % of women surveyed (sample 1200, all States, city and country) were in favour of Australia becoming a republic; 39% were against and 15% were uncommitted. 43% of women surveyed had heard of or read new text for the preamble. 18% were in favour of it being added to the Constitution while 13% disapproved. 69% were uncommitted.
  • 16 August - New Zealanders are warming to the idea of becoming a republic after a survey showed that support for a republic had doubled to 34 percent over the last 10 years, leading to the prediction that NZ would follow Australia's example and put the issue to the vote. Prime Minister, Jenny Shipley said she did not believe any change was imminent, "It is rarely raised with me," she said. The same study found that New Zealanders have grown so disillusioned with government that many favour the country being run by a board of directors, a team of experts or even by a strong leader who could ignore a squabbling and indecisive parliament.
  • 16 August - The launch of Western Australia's YES...and MORE campaign is announced. Women republicans in Perth associated with the State's YES...and MORE campaign are Christina Gillgren, Judyth Watson and Julie Armstrong. Contact Christina at if you are interested in joining this group.
  • 15 August - Senator Meg Lees, Leader of the Australian Democrats announces that she will be working for a YES/YES vote for both the republic and the preamble even though not all federal parliamentary members of her party shared this stance although all are in favour of the preamble.
  • 14 August: Penelope Layland writes in The Canberra Times about how a NO vote- which she cannot believe will happen - will galvanise her from 7 November to embrace all things monarchical, including learning how to curtsey. Her article is accompanied by a photograph of the Queen resplendent wearing a crown and the Duke of Edinburgh in full military dress at the opening of the Australian Parliament in 1977, which looks ridiculous as it does anachronistic. Read the full text of this article.
  • 13 August: The Opposition supports a YES vote for the preamble despite deep reservations about the wording on Indigenous peoples. They plan to seek another referendum to amend the wording to include "custodianship".
  • 12 August: Women's groups condemn the new preamble for its lack of an equality clause led by Women's Electoral Lobby. WfaAR comment: while we, in common with most politically active women's groups,  are bitterly disappointed about the lack of the equality clause, we believe that this can be pursued through other avenues eg a Bill of Rights. Similarly, we believe that the preamble is an introduction to a law rather than an inspirational document for the country ie actions speak louder than words. However, we are practical and our view is that given the magnitude of the changes which the Prime Minister has now entertained (see references below to his persistent stance on retaining "mateship") and as the new text is a vast improvement on the first version, we think this is as good as we are going to get.  We applaud the inclusion of the new clause about recognising and protecting our environment.
  • 12 August: Indigenous leaders unanimously calls for the question on the draft preamble to be dropped, saying that the new version was fundamentally flawed because it had failed to recognise the inherent and distinct rights of the first nations which have been recognised by the High Court and that it had been put together without adequate consultation with anyone in the community. The drafting was described as insensitive. They also said that there should be one question: Should Australia become a republic?
  • 11 August: Mateship out of the Preamble! The Prime Minister announces the new, heavily amended wording for the preamble. Mateship is gone replaced by more expansive words about the national spirit in the last phrase and a reference to the sacrifices made by Australians defending our country and liberty in wars. There is also a lengthy reference to Indigenous Australians as the nation's first people, having a deep kinship with their lands and honouring them for their ancient and continuing cultures. See the full text in Hot Topics and in our Section on the Preamble. Mr Howard said that he was very sorry to see mateship go but that he had sacrificed the word to get a new version of the Preamble accepted by the Democrats. But he could not pass up the opportunity to get a preamble "simply because I couldn't get my way on one particular word". He said of mateship, "I love the word".
  • 11 August: The legislation stalls in the Senate when the Democrats gain a victory for their revised wording for the republic question, asking simply if Australia should become a republic, no mention of the Queen and no mention of the selection model. The bills are returned to the lower house.
  • 10 August: Senator Meg Lees, leader of the Australian Democrats, now holding the balance of power in the Senate, meets twice with the Prime Minister in an effort to reach agreement on the question to be put about the preamble.
  • 10 August: The House of Representatives passes new wording for the question about the referendum on the republic: "An Act to alter the Constitution to establish the Commonwealth of Australia as a republic with the Queen and Governor-General being replaced by a President appointed by two-thirds majority of the members of the Commonwealth Parliament. Do you approve of this proposed law?" This was after the report of an all party committee recommended a change to the question to include mention of the Queen and inclusion of the words "Australian President"; the latter addition of the word "Australian" was rejected by Cabinet.
  • 10 August: Women for an Australian Republic participates in the launch of the ACT YES Coalition joining Young Australians for A Republic, ACT ARM, A Just Republic, individuals from the ACT community and members of all of the major local political parties. ACT women residents who spoke movingly and personally at the launch were Adaire Ferguson, world champion rower, and Sheryle Moon, Telstra Businesswoman of the Year. (Read Sheryle's Speech)
  • 9 August: Michelle Grattan reports in the Sydney Morning Herald that Federal Cabinet is under pressure over the referendum question on the republic after a poll conducted for the Herald showed that the referendum would be carried on the proposition that the Queen and Governor-General should be replaced by an Australian President but lost if the method of selection was added to the question. The poll also showed support for the republic in principle at its highest level so far. WfaAR notes the different results from polls taken at roughly the same time.
  • 8 August: Senator Amanda Vanstone, Minister for Justice and Customs issues a press release calling for a calm and rational approach to the debate in the lead-up to the referendum. "There is not much time before the referendum and regardless of the outcome of the vote, it is imperative that Australians have access to reasonable debate which focuses on the issues, not personalities," Senator Vanstone said.  To read the full article click on press release.
  • 7 August: New Democrat Senator, Aden Ridgeway, only the second indigenous Australian to be a member of the Federal Parliament has told the Prime Minister that he objects to the word "mateship" in the draft preamble to the Constitution because "it is not word that captures a sentiment that includes all Australians. Historical reflection sheds light on the fact that it is largely exclusive to Anglo-Celtic Australians, actually Anglo-Saxon Australians. It has historically been exclusive of others, even Catholics, but also Asians and, particularly, indigenous Australians." WfaAR supports Senator Ridgeway's comments which reflect our view to the Referendum Taskforce last April on the use of the word "mateship" in the draft preamble in addition to our objection to this word on gender grounds.
  • 6 August: The Prime Minister announced that the Queen and Prince Phillip will be in the country for a royal tour in March 2000. It will the Queen's 13th visit to Australia and her first since 1992. WfaAR comment - and, hopefully, her last as our Head of State.
  • 6 August: Finally some commonsense in the debate - Anne Henderson, Deputy Director of the Sydney Institute, writing in The Australian says that this referendum will not be decided by which politicians are supporting the YES and NO cases but that being quite different in nature from all the previous ones, people will make up their own minds. She also says that YES republicans should persevere as a win for the NO case if far from a certain result. Further she contends that the monarchists are doing their best to confuse us all. WfaAR couldn't agree more. Read Anne's article.
  • 5 August: Former Attorney-General and now leading barrister, Bob Ellicott QC fears that Australians are going to sit round in the pub nominating each other for President because that's the nature of our sense of humour.
  • 4 August: Women lead the way supporting the YES vote. In Canberra, Kate Carnell, Liberal Chief Minister of the ACT Government and Labor Senator for the ACT, Kate Lundy shared the podium at an ACT ARM fundraising dinner speaking in favour of the YES case.
  • 4 August: Senator Meg Lees, Leader of the Australian Democrats was reported in the The Canberra Times as saying that she supports the revised wording suggested for the referendum question which clearly states that the aim of the change is to replace the Queen and the Governor-General with an Australian President agreed by two-thirds majority of the Federal Parliament following a public nomination process. This is similar to the wording believed to have been recommended by the Joint Select Committee of the Federal Parliament inquiring into the legislation for the referendum which included the wording of the question.
  • 30 July: In a passionate speech in favour of the republic in Adelaide, Janet Holmes a Court nominated the current Governor-General, Sir William Deane, as the first President of Australia saying that he would be a marvellous, healing appointment which would overcome the fear factor for some people. She declined to rule out taking the position herself saying that it was a really difficult question to answer. She also said that it would be highly embarrassing for Australia if the referendum were lost and it would be a very long time before the issue was raised again.
  • 29 July: Corowa local historian, Glenda Campbell, says in Stuart Rintoul's article in The Australian that she doubts that the republic has captured the imagination of the Australian people in the way that Federation did: "I can't get too enthused about the debate. I would probably like an Australian Head of State, and I think a republic is inevitable, like Federation was.  But I'm not quite sure that I will vote in favour of it this time around." A debate on the republic is being held in Corowa on the weekend of 31 July/1August, the place of first Federation conference in 1893. No women are among the official speakers at this meeting. The Australian, which is hosting a series of "town hall meetings", will be publishing reports on this and subsequent debates.
  • 28 July: The Joint Select Committee on the Republic Bills is winding up its hearings before reporting back to Parliament in the next few days. Professor Cheryl Saunders of Melbourne said that the proposed question did not fairly represent what the republic would be like. She warned the Committee that there was "tremendous confusion" about the changes and the present system of government. Committee member, Nicola Roxon, Labor MP for Gellibrand (Vic), claimed that the wording of the question was biased, commenting that almost the only people supporting the proposed question are "monarchists and supporters of the NO case". ACT ARM Convenor, Anne Witheford, told the Committee that the question must make it clear to people that the key issue is whether Australia continues to have the Queen as Head of State or not. Drawn from the report by Michelle Grattan and Lindy Edwards in the SMH.
  • 28 July: Release of latest Newspoll survey shows that 42 percent of women interviewed (total sample 2400) were in favour of Australia becoming a republic; 25 percent were strongly in favour. The most notable result from this poll was that it showed that support among young people for the republic is slipping while overall support was down to 46%, the lowest level since 1993; at this stage, only 41% intend to vote YES in favour of the model where the President is elected by a two-thirds majority of the federal parliament. Overall support for the republic is strongest in NSW and WA and weakest in Queensland.
  • 27 July: The YES Coalition is launched in New South Wales. Women attending the launch in Sydney included Aboriginal leader, Ms Norma Ingram, and Uniting Church minister, Dorothy McRae-McMahon. Norma Ingram said that it was significant that the meeting was being held on Bennelong Point named after the first Aboriginal person that the British had tried to make British. He had died of a broken heart but the YES Coalition was to bring new life to the land. Dorothy McRae-McMahon objected to the view that the that a republic was all too difficult: "We are not prepared to wait until the next generation. I refuse to die before we have a republic." She said that it was pathetic, boring and lacking in imagination to argue that no change was necessary on the eve of a new century. The opening welcome was by Sylvia Scott on behalf of the Eora people who said that she could see her ancestors walking where the Botanic Gardens are now. She thought that they would prefer a republic. Drawn from Tony Stephens' report in the SMH.
  • 26 July: Women on opposing sides write in the Sydney Morning Herald – Wendy Machin, Deputy Chair of the Australian Republican Movement says that Australians do care about a republic in her article "A vote of self confidence" while Kerry Jones, Executive Director of No Republic-Australians for a Constitutional Monarchy asks voters to consider "Be sure you know what's at stake" commenting that "it's a debate we just don't want"
  • 21 July: The YES ... and MORE coalition promoted by prominent direct election Republicans, including Dr Pat O'Shane and Ms Moira Rayner, from the 1998 Constitutional Convention is launched in Sydney.  Read more in Hot Topics.  WfaAR supports the YES....and MORE campaign.
  • 19 July: The Prime Minister says that he is committed to keeping "mateship" in the preamble. He said on his return from the USA that the term which had been criticised as "too blokey" was sacrosanct. He said," I like 'mateship'. It's very Australian. When you go overseas, you are reminded of how dear it is to the Australian psyche. I don't expect that word out."
  • 18 July: Democrat Senator Natasha Stott Despoja describes the Prime Minister's insistence on the word "mateship" in his draft preamble as "ridiculously obstinate". Further she said, "Personally, I do not believe 'mateship' has a place in our Constitution. It is an exclusive word, objectionable to women as well as highlighting a generational difference".

    There is speculation that the Democrats are willing to trade a reference to "mateship" for inclusion of "custodianship" in the draft preamble but Democrat sources have reported that the party feels strongly about both terms and is unlikely to agree to any trade-off.

  • 16 July: Rosemary Neill, writing in The Australian, calls for a comprehensive public education campaign on the republic after a leaked Newspoll survey found that half of a group of voters surveyed didn't know enough to vote in the November referendum. About 30% weren't aware that a referendum was being held then and 70% of those who were aware didn't know it was about a republic
  • Mid July: "The Case for YES" published. This collection of papers given at the National Convention of Republicans in February - edited by John Uhr - contains a large number of contributions by women: Kate Carnell, Amanda Vanstone, Natasha Stott Despoja, Marise Payne, Dorothy McRae-McMahon, Marilyn Lake and Marian Sawer. Marilyn Lake's paper is a very good feminist perspective on the Republic while Marian Sawer writes on the preamble. (Click here to read her chapter.) Available from bookshops and the Federation Press: info@fedpress.aust.com
  • 6 July - Kim Rubenstein, Convenor of Equal Say - Women for a Representative Democracy and Anne
    Winckel, appeared on behalf of the Women's Constitutional Convention Steering Committee (of which WfaAR is a member) before the Joint Select Committee of the Federal Parliament in Melbourne, to put the women's perspective on the Referendum Bills.  (See our earlier letter to the Referendum Task Force about desired gender specific inclusions in the Presidential Nominations Bill to ensure that women make up at least half of the 32 member Presidential Nominations Committee and that they have an equal chance to be nominated as President.

    Read Kim's report in our Section on Women Say
  • 1 July: A woman nominated as second Boomaroo of Australia. In his new book, creative thinking proponent and writer, Edward de Bono, proposes another model for our Head of State based on the appointment of a unique (seemingly eccentric) Australian monarch intended to liven the place up. The appointment of the Boomaroo - a combination of boomerang and kangaroo - would alternate between men and women. de Bono proposes himself as the first Boomaroo after having describing the content of the republic debate ie what the President can do and how the person gets selected and dismissed as "incredibly boring". Why I Want to be King of Australia by Edward de Bono (Penguin)
  • 23 June: The High Court finds that Australia is effectively a republic and independent of Britain since the passing of the Australia Act in 1986. The Court was handing down its judgement in the challenge to Senator elect Heather Hill (One Nation Queensland) who had dual Australian/British citizenship at the time of her election in October 1998. Upholding the appeal, the Court found that Britain was a "foreign" power. Heather Hill will be replaced by a male senator from Mareeba in Far North Queensland.  Afterwards, One Nation national President, Pauline Hanson, questioned the need for the referendum on the republic on 6 November.
  • 10 June - Legislation for the Republic introduced into the House of Representatives. The Joint Select Committee to consider the two bills (see item of 21 May for composition of committee) is to continue its inquiry during the winter recess and report by 9 August. The committee invites public comment on the legislation and can be reached at: republic@aph.gov.au
  • 10 June - The Parliament is told that the Referendum for the Republic will cost $82.5m ie $63m to be spent by the Australian Electoral Commission and $19.5m allocated to the YES and NO campaigns and the public education campaign. Note the AEC will also be issuing general information about the referendum to all households before the vote.
  • 26 May - The Senate agrees to establishment of a Joint Select Committee to consider the Republic legislation (see item below for more details)
  • 21 May: Government confirms 6 November as the date for referendum (this will require the referendum legislation to pass through both Houses of Federal Parliament by 20 August). Also announced was the setting up of a joint parliamentary committee to consider the proposed changes to the Constitution and associated legislation with 12 members from the House of Representatives (six Government and six Opposition) and six Senators (three Government and three Opposition ie two ALP and one Democrat)
  • 12 May: The Prime Minister received 666 submissions on the Preamble - 250 were from women and women's groups, mostly from individuals. The Government received 111 submissions about the Referendum Bills, just under 20 percent from women.
  • 3 May: Pamela Ryan, an Australian academic, is heading a non-profit group to organise the country’s first deliberative poll in October. 300 people will meet in Canberra to reach an informed view on the Republic and a President appointed by Parliament after public nomination.
  • 29 April: Prime Minister threatens to drop the preamble from the November referendum if Opposition members vote to replace his version with their own in the Senate and says that he sees nothing wrong with the term "mateship";
  • 28 April: Labor, Greens and Democrat MPs in the federal parliament endorse an alternative version of the preamble containing a general statement of equality but not specifically referring to the equality of men and women. It was jointly released by Senator Natasha Stott Despoja for the Democrats, former Labor Minister, Gareth Evans, and Greens Senator, Bob Brown (see text in Section on Preamble);

    Comments are invited from the public at: or call Ben Oquist on (02) 6277 3170

  • 23 April: Queen Elizabeth II ends a trip to South Korea hailed as a milestone in ties between London and Seoul. This was described in the international press as the first visit "by a British head of State"....;
  • 22 April: Women’s Electoral Lobby calls on the Prime Minister to modify his preamble to include a specific reference to the equality of men and women. "I think a lot of women were quite shocked to have that very important principle wrapped in the very blokey term of mateship," said Helen Leonard, Executive Director of WEL;
  • 20 April: Only one woman, Professor Cheryl Saunders of Melbourne, appointed by Government to its Referendum Advisory Committee.
  • 17 April: "PM ‘welshed’ on women".    The Sydney Morning Herald reports Professor Marian Sawer’s remarks at the Women Into Politics symposium in Lismore that the Prime Minister reneged on his public commitment to include a statement of the equality of men and women in the draft preamble.
  • 14 April: Jeff Kennett, Premier of Victoria, publishes his own version of the preamble called a "Declaration of the People of Australia": no clear statement of the equality of women and men and and lacking acknowledgment of our Indigenous peoples
  • 13 April: Prime Minister signals that he is prepared to compromise on wording of preamble
  • mid April: biography of prominent republic supporter, Janet Holmes a Court from Western Australia, released: Janet Holmes a Court by Patricia Edgar (HarperCollins)
  • 11 April: Government announces arrangements for the YES and NO campaigns - to take place three to four weeks before the vote. Each committee has $7.5m to spend on market testing and polling, research, advertising, direct mailing and how to vote cards
  • 10 April: in the Weekend Financial Review, Michael Sexton, writes that the appointment of the President will resemble an executive search but questions whether the post, being largely ceremonial, requires such lofty credentials
  • 9 April: States debate future of State Governors in a republic at Premiers’ Conference
  • 8 April: Dame Edna Everage announces that the Queen is pro-republic for Australia
  • 8 April: Prime Minister announces visit by the Queen early in 2000 - welcomed by Australians for A Constitutional Monarchy Executive Director, Mrs Kerry Jones, to celebrate the resounding NO vote they expect in November
  • 5 April: Newspoll survey published in The Australian shows that 61% of women, compared with 51% of men questioned (1200 in city and country locations) had not read or were unaware of the preamble. In total, 22% approved and 17% disapproved of the wording. 20% of women completely approved or approved with reservations (six and 14 percent respectively).
  • 28 March: The Sunday Telegraph carries a story that the office of the Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner had been inundated with complaints from women about the preamble. Commissioner Susan Halliday was reported to be preparing her own version as a result.
  • 23 March: Prime Minister releases draft preamble lacking an equality statement and with an inadequate reference to our Indigenous peoples, but containing a reference to "mateship", for public comment by 30 April
  • 9 March: Government releases exposure drafts of the referendum bills for public comment.
  • 6-7 February: National Convention of Republicans, Launching the YES Coalition for the 1999 Referendum, held in Canberra.
Quick Info

For a brief but useful guide to republicanism in Australia, see the entry in Wikipedia

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Woman for an Australian Republic, Adelaide Ironside, republican poet and artist, 1831-1867

Self portrait 1855, Newcastle Region Art Gallery NSW

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Senate Inquiry

Report of Senate Inquiry into the Republic Plebiscite Bill released 15 June 2009

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