About Us (2008)

Women for an Australian Republic exists online providing news, views and information for women about the Republic.

We supported a YES vote in the 1999 referendum and were a member of the YES Coalition of republican groups working together for the YES case.

We believed that a YES vote was important in 1999 to start the process of change which would have led to better government and civic involvement for all who live and work in this country.

We do not support the current constitutional monarchy where determining the head of state is discriminatory because a woman can only become Queen if she has no brothers and because women have no say in the selection of the monarch. We acknowledge that this is contrary to Australia’s anti-discrimination laws and sense of fairness.

We supported the model proposed at the Constitutional Convention in 1998 for the selection of the President by public nomination. We wanted equal participation by women in all parts of the nomination process with at least half of the Presidential Nominations Committee to be female.

We supported the 1999 referendum proposal where the nomination of the President was to be approved by two-thirds of a joint sitting of Federal Parliament because we believe that this selection method offers the best chance for a woman or an Indigenous person to be chosen as head of state in the shortest possible time We support further consideration of head of state models at future Constitutional Conventions.

Since that time, we recognise that there is more community support for direct election of the head of state and that this is likely to be the only successful selection method to be put at a referendum in the future. We now support that model provided that women can participate equally in the development of a Republic with a directly elected head of state and have an equal chance with men to become head of state under this model.

We encourage all Australian women citizens to consider putting themselves forward for nomination to the office of head of state. We want the first head of state of an Australian Republic to be female.

In 2006, we adopted the principle of women and men alternating as head of state and expect that this principle will be written into Australia’s republican constitution as a true expression of equality and inclusion.

Our view is that the preamble to a new constitution must contain a clear expression of the equality of women and men and recognise the prior occupation and custodianship of our country by our Indigenous peoples. We cannot support a preamble which contains the word “mateship”.

We support the outcomes of the Women’s Constitutional Conventions held in January 1998 and June 2002.

We support full participation by women in all processes leading up to the Republic and the processes for selection of the head of state.

We are a member of the Australian Women’s Constitutional Network which lobbies governments on all aspects of the Republic and women’s participation in its development and establishment.

We provide a wide range of information from republican and women’s groups across the spectrum of views on Australia’s future as a Republic.

We are particularly interested in publicising and promoting women’s opinions on the Republic and in the debate which surrounds it.

Women for an Australian Republic is supported by an advisory group of women lawyers; women who advocate for the republic and those active in promoting women’s participation in politics and decision-making.


March 2008