Does Eureka remain unfinished business? Peter FitzSimons to deliver 2013 republican lecture in Melbourne

Does Eureka remain unfinished business? Peter FitzSimons to deliver 2013 republican lecture in Melbourne
May 29, 2013 Kaz Scott



An Australian Republic is coming back on the agenda, and who better to put it squarely in the public’s sights than Peter FitzSimons.

The award-winning author and journalist will deliver the 2013 National Republican Lecture at Monash University on Wednesday, June 5, as part of a determined new push to get Australians talking about our identity as Australians, our deep democratic ethic and our republican values.

The Australian Republican Movement (ARM) has recently begun a new campaign aimed at restarting a conversation with Australians about who we are and what we can be.  The campaign, designed to get the republic back on the agenda, was successfully trialed in Tasmania, where it received the endorsement of the leaders of the three major parties, and was recently launched in New South Wales to a 350-strong crowd at a fundraiser with Malcolm Turnbull, Tom Keneally and Jane Caro.

Republic Clubs are forming on university campuses throughout Australia, with fundraisers, forums and stalls being held or scheduled in all states. With support from Tim Fischer to Malcolm Turnbull, Wayne Swan and Christine Milne, the ARM has been delighted with the public endorsements of the campaign across the political divide.

Mr FitzSimons urged the public to start thinking about the issue.

“We need to start that conversation,” he said. “We need to examine, in a sensible, rational manner, just what it means to be an Australian and just what we think it should mean in the future.

“We need to take a fresh look at where we have come from and what we want to look like in the 21st Century,” Mr FitzSimons said. “We need to talk about those democratic, inclusive and egalitarian ideals that we have developed over our history and how today the old, colonial link to the British monarchy is not only out of date, but broken as an institution that can represent modern, multicultural Australia.”

David Morris, ARM’s National Director, said the lecture was a chance for people to hear from one of Australia’s pre-eminent public voices on his reasons for supporting a republic.

“This is the first time we have held the annual lecture outside Canberra, which is symbolic of our desire to take the politics out of the debate,” Mr Morris said.

“The desire for change is gathering momentum again, and one of the main reasons is that it is seen as a genuinely non-partisan push by people wanting a new, inclusive vision for our future.”

FitzSimons’s latest book Eureka: The Unfinished Revolution examines the characters involved, the reasons behind the 1854 rebellion and its democratic consequences and implications.

The National Republican Lecture will be followed by a fundraiser dinner amongst the artworks of a “Direct Democracy” exhibition at the Monash University Museum of Art. The exhibition, which runs until July 6, ‘explores the changing nature of our engagement with the democratic tradition’ and includes works by Australian and international artists.




Where: H Building, Lecture Theatre 1.16, Monash University,

Caulfield Campus, 900 Dandenong Road, Caulfield East

The Lecture will be followed by a fundraising dinner, please visit for more information and to purchase tickets.


For more information please contact:

Jessica Minear

T: 03 8638 2193

M: 0417 311 306