Not my King!
Charles III is not my king. I believe in democracy and equality. I don't want a rich privileged man who lives on the other side of the planet, with a golden carriage and a silly hat, to be my king. Particularly when he is unelected and simply inherits his status. I want an Australian head of state, chosen by us, the people of Australia.
Australia is a grown-up independent nation, but we still maintain a connection to the British Crown. For too long, we've allowed the British monarchy to hold the most significant role of our nation. The King of England is our head of state.
But what does this really mean? As a multicultural nation priding ourselves on democracy and egalitarian values, it's strange that we would maintain subservience to a monarchy based on birthright and privilege and which gained its wealth through colonisation and slavery. The idea that someone can be born into a position of power and authority to rule over us, simply because of their lineage, goes against our deepest national values.
The British monarchy also represents a colonial power and past that caused significant harm to Australia's First Nations. Forced removal of Aboriginal children from their families, for example, was endorsed by the British Crown. The scars are still felt by many of us as Aboriginal people today.
In this context, it is difficult for me to understand why Australia would want to maintain the British monarchy. King Charles III may seem like a pompous yet harmless figurehead. But the symbolism of his position is deeply problematic. By accepting him as our king, we perpetuate a system based on privilege and inequality. We pay tribute to a system that abused us and many other nations and peoples.
I want an Australian head of state who represents Australia and our diversity. Someone who is chosen by us the people, not by birthright. Someone who can speak to the experiences of all of us. Someone who embodies the values of democracy and equality that we hold dear.
The idea of an Australian Republic is not a new one. It has been discussed and debated for decades. And there have been attempts to bring it about. But progress has been slow. Part of the reason is the perceived difficulty of the process. Constitutional change is never easy, and there are always vested interests seeking to scare us. But we cannot let these obstacles prevent us from pursuing a more just, equitable and representative Australia. Our small and impoverished neighbour East Timor was brave enough to become a republic in 2002. Surely we can too.
I'm passionate about an Australian Republic because I believe it is the only way forward for our nation. We cannot continue to cling to the past and its system based on privilege and inequality that excludes us! We cannot continue to accept a foreign monarch as our head of state. We have so many talented and capable Australians who could fill that role.
Our children and grandchildren deserve to know that one of them can be our leader. I want a future where they look back and say that we had the courage to change. That we had the vision to create a nation that truly reflected our values. That we were willing to take risks and challenge the status quo, to create a better Australia.
That’s why King Charles III is not my king. I want an Australian head of state, chosen by Australians. I want an Australian Republic that embodies the values we hold dear. The path to an Australian Republic may not be easy, but it is a journey worth taking. We must continue to have conversations, raise awareness, and point out how ridiculous the current system is. We must push for constitutional change. Australia can have a system of government that truly reflects our values as a nation. Where all of us, regardless of our backgrounds, have a say in the decisions that affect our lives.
Together, we can build a brighter and more inclusive Australian Republic, where our head of state is one of our own, and where our values of democracy and equality are reflected in our system of government.