In politics, the Prime Minister restated his support for change, as did every Premier and Chief Minister; the Opposition leader promised a national vote by the end of the forst term if elected; and the Leader of the Australian Greens formally joined our federal Parliamentary Friendship Group.
In December 2017 the ARM launched the Republic Advisory Panel, a group of leading Australians who are committed to an Australian head of state and who have agreed to serve as patrons for our cause. The panel is a diverse group of women and men who have each made significant contributions to Australia in fields including government, media, acadamia, business and the law. For each of these individuals, their decision to join the Panel is a great sign of their confidence in the Australian Republic Movement and their commitment to the idea of an Australian head of state.
"The campaign for an Australian head of state is a big Australian cause - with a big head of steam building up. We're drawing on support from every community and every section of society and today is another big step forward," said Peter FitzSimons, Chair of the Australian Republic Movement.
"These leading Australians have generously offered their time and energy to a great campaign. They share a simple belief: Australia's head of state should be a citizen of Australia. Who could seriously argue anything different!"
THE AUSTRALIAN REPUBLIC ADVISORY PANEL
Kim Beazley, Former Deputy Prime Minister, former Leader of the Australian Labor Party, former Ambassador to the United States
Luca Belgiorno-Nettis, Managing Director, Transfield
Larissa Behrendt, Professor and Director of Research at the Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning at the University of Technology, Sydney
Steve Bracks, Former Premier of Victoria
Tim Fischer, Former Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Nationals; Former Ambassador to the Holy See
Ross Fitzgerald, Author and historian
Marina Go, Chair and non-executive director
Catherine Harris, Chairperson, Harris Farm Markets, Rugby League Commissioner
Robert Hill, Former Minister for the Environment, Former Ambassador to the United Nations
Helen Irving, Professor of Law
Simon McKeon, Philanthropist and 2011 Australian of the Year
Jane Needham, Senior Counsel and former NSW Bar Association President
Kim Rubenstein, Professor, Law School, and Public Policy Fellow, Australian National University.
Clare Wright, Historian, author and broadcaster
Talal Yassine, Managing Director – Crescent Wealth
Earlier this year, the Australian Republic Movement opened an essay competition inviting students from across the country to tackle the statement, 'An Australian head of state will better represent Australian values and identity'.
In his winning entry, published here by The Sydney Morning Herald, Victorian Dan Crowley explains that he's a republican because 'we have forged our nation, our identity and our values'.
The next generation of Australian republican leaders are stepping forward, though many weren't even born at the time of the 1999 referendum.
The future looks bright.