Australian Republican Movement

Australian Republican Movement
Chairperson Peter FitzSimons
National Director Timothy Mayfield
Founded July 1991 (1991-07)
Headquarters Canberra,  Australia
Ideology Australian republicanism
Australian Republic

The Australian Republican Movement (ARM) is a non-partisan lobby group advocating constitutional change in Australia to a republican form of government, from a constitutional monarchy.



The ARM was founded in July 1991, following the Australian Labor Party's adoption of republicanism as a policy at its conference in June of that year.

The ARM's first chairman was the novelist Thomas Keneally, with other founding members including the investment banker (and later, once Federal Opposition Leader and now Prime Minister) Malcolm Turnbull, the former Australian cricket captain, Ian Chappell, and the film director Fred Schepisi. It is currently headed by Peter FitzSimons, who replaced a former premier of Western Australia, Geoff Gallop. He in turn replaced retired MAJGEN Michael Keating.[1]

In fact when Turnbull was ARM chairman the future Liberal Prime Minister once denied in a Sydney Morning Herald article that the ARM was a Labor front.

In 1993, the Republic Advisory Committee was created by the Keating Labor government, the Committee laid the foundations for proposed Constitutional change.

1999 referendum

Although opinion polls appeared to show that many Australians favoured becoming a republic,[2] divisions emerged in the Movement between those who favoured indirect election of the President by Parliament, and those who favoured direct election by the people.[3] This led to Australian voters rejecting at a referendum in 1999 a constitutional amendment to a specific form of republic described by some as the "minimalist" model because it involved the least change to the constitution of the various republican models proposed. Of 13 million voters 1 million more voted to retain a Constitutional Monarchy with each of the six states and the Northern Territory (NT) voting against a republic. Only the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) supported a republic in the referendum.


The ARM seeks to bring about an Australian republic through two plebiscites and a referendum, providing the population direct input to any decision on a republic.[4]

They propose a three-stage process:[4]

  1. A non-binding plebiscite on the threshold question: "Do you want Australia to become a republic with an Australian Head of State?"
  2. A second plebiscite on the form of a republic including the selection method (following the full development of forms of a republic, including the selection method, by experts).
  3. A referendum offering a choice between adopting the form of republic approved by the second plebiscite or remaining a constitutional monarchy.


The ARM argues that Australia should replace the Monarch and Governor-General to become a republic with a head of state who is an Australian citizen and resident. Since the Referendum, support for a republic has declined.


The ARM is a member of Common Cause, an alliance of Commonwealth republican movements, each seeking to change their country's status as Commonwealth realms to Commonwealth republics. The ARM is not associated with any political party.

See also


  1. Gallop to lead republicansThe West Australian. Published 26 November 2012. Retrieved 26 November 2012.
  2. "Polls on a republic 1999 - 2002" (PDF). Newspoll. November 2007. Retrieved 2008-01-05.
  3. Vizard, Steve, Two Weeks in Lilliput: Bear Baiting and Backbiting At the Constitutional Convention (Penguin, 1998, ISBN 0-14-027983-0)
  4. 1 2 "Australian Republican Movement Policy". February 2010. Archived from the original on 18 February 2011. Retrieved 14 January 2011.

External links

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