The people of modern Australia are drawn from virtually every country in the world. It is no reflection on the loyalty of great many of them to say that the British monarchy is a remote and inadequate symbol of their affections for Australia. And we can be equally sure that in the 21st century the British monarchy will become even more remote from even more Australians.

Australia occupies a unique place in the world and makes a unique contribution to it. Our destiny is in no-one else’s hands but our own: we alone bear the responsibility for deciding what the nature of our government and society will be, what advantage we will take of our human and material resources, what kind of place our children will inherit.

It is not a radical undertaking that we propose.

In proposing that our Head of State should be an Australian we are proposing nothing more than the obvious. Our Head of State should embody and represent Australia’s values and traditions, Australia’s experience and aspirations. We need not apologise for the nationalism in these sentiments, but in truth they contain as much commonsense as patriotism.