Venturini, VG (George): Towards an Australian republic

Venturini, VG (George)

‘Towards an Australian republic: parts 1-10’, Australian Independent Media Network, 2-11 February 2016

A series of essays from a veteran Australian commentator. The titles of all ten essays and links to them are set out below:

Towards an Australian republic – part 1 – Lies, bread and circuses

Towards an Australian republic – part 2 – Race, trade and loyalty to ‘home’

Towards an Australian republic – part 3 – What have we got?

Towards an Australian republic – part 4 – There are undoubtedly difficulties

Towards an Australian republic – part 5 – What are the problems?

Towards an Australian republic – part 6 – What do Australians believe?

Towards an Australian republic – part 7 – Recognition. Of what?

Towards an Australian republic – part 8 – Recognition. Of what? (continued)

Towards an Australian republic – part 9 – From military encampment to republic

Towards an Australian republic  – conclusion – What kind of republic and how to get there

The author starts by quoting novelist Richard Flanagan on a crucial question which, after more than 200 years of non-Indigenous settlement, still confronts Australia:

Does Australia have the desire to move into the twenty-first century, or will it continue its retreat into a past as a colonial quarry for the empire of others, its public life ever more run at the behest of large corporations, its people ever more fearful of others, its capacity for freedom and truth with each year a little more diminished?

Venturini proceeds historically and thematically through a comprehensive coverage of the issues attending Australia’s progress towards republican status. Before turning in part 10 to key process issues for the future, he presents this as the current state of play: defence systems controlled by Washington; assets sold; public services desecrated; banking cartelised; information provision trivialised; and higher education debauched. He goes on to a further key issue:

The time has long passed for Australians – all Australians – to develop a historically correct and truthful awareness of their past, identity and character, abandoning forever the shallow jingoistic parody one sees on such events as Australia Day. That may only come by entering into a treaty …  embracing and reconciling with the Indigenous People and their culture in a true and meaningful way, but above all in a way that they understand and appreciate. With that goes a serious commitment to reparation for past tragedies. And that means cancelling any trace of racism and of its consequences. It may take time, but this must be done, not only for the Indigenous People but also for the young generations of new migrants, beginning with changing completely Australia’s attitude to asylum seekers. In welcoming rather than imprisoning them all other Australians would honour themselves.

Relates closely to the remarks of Australian Republican Movement chair, Peter FitzSimons.

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