I have an essay “A Peaceable Revolution” in a fantastic new book Project Republic, and argument for the republic we should have become years ago.
The book comes out late in May, but my advances arrived today, and I can feel the book’s energy (essays, especially, by Larissa Behrendt, Tom Kenneally, Henry Reynolds, and Mark McKenna, and the foreword by Malcolm Turnbull—who, if he won’t switch parties and become prime minister, might consider standing as the republic’s first president) radiating into the autumn sunshine already.
Here’s some of what I have to say about the republic I want Australia to become and why:
“The republic I want is reconciled with its past, and it lives in its present, and it imagines its future; it is postcolonial, multiple, inclusive of first Australians and all the immigrant voices and wisdoms that make us who we are…
“The republic I want is worthy of the landscape governed, taken care of, loved and held sacred for thousands of years before Europe discovered it; I want a plain-spoken but elegant republic that catches in its instruments of its governance the lyrics of this place on earth, a republic rich with the sclerophyll music that inheres in these landscapes and their people…
“And I want a republic that is neither fearful nor narrow, but smart and courageous. I want a republic that enshrines and practises and encourages the great virtues of our nature… not merely the little ones...Time for an imaginative leap, I think...Time for the peaceable revolution.”
Here’s Black Inc’s summary of the book:
Plans and Arguments for a New Australia
Edited by BENJAMIN THOMAS JONES, MARK MCKENNA
It’s time for some straight talk about Australia’s future.
We need a head of state who shares a genuine affinity with our country. True independence does not require us to relinquish affection for the Queen or downplay excitement about a royal birth or wedding. Rather it is a chance for national renewal, and to lend an Australian dignity to the highest office in the land. In short: to decide what kind of country we want to live in.
Featuring forewords by Malcolm Turnbull and Wayne Swan, Project Republic unites a range of passionate Australian voices to show why Australia must become a republic – and how we can get there from here.
Contributors include Henry Reynolds, Thomas Keneally, Larissa Behrendt, John Hirst, Julian Morrow, Helen Irving, Mark Tredinnick, John Warhurst, David Morris, George Williams, Joy McCann, Erika Smith, Anthony Dillon, Paul Pickering, James Curran, David Donovan and George Winterton.