The Australian Republican Movement invited three women and three men to create preambles for a new Australian republican constitution.
The three women contributing are: Delia Falconer, Dorothy Porter and Leah Purcell. Here are their preambles:
We, the citizens of Australia, recognising that this land was given to us by no God and existed first as country, then as colony, and last as a Federal Commonwealth created in 1901 by the federation of six states; honouring equally the system of law inherited from England and the continuing laws and cultures of the Aboriginal peoples who never ceded ownership; affirming our duty of care toward this ancient landscape and its creatures; upholding the liberty of each individual regardless of ancestry under the laws of our democratic system; cognisant of our history; accepting our special status as an island continent, generous in expanse and heart, linked and looking outward to the ocean; charge each government to uphold the rules and ideals of this constitution decreed by us, the Australian people.
We are fortunate to live and prosper in the expansive light of a unique and ancient continent. It is our duty and privilege as a people to nurture and protect this natural landscape as has been done for millennia by the indigenous Australians.
We are a country of many and diverse peoples. We welcome strangers, innovators and those escaping persecution. We do not live by division, timidity or bigotry. We are a secular, democratic republic united by imagination, courage, equal opportunity and a sense of fair play, with a vigilant respect for our individual freedoms.
We have learned from tradition and our history, but are not hostage to them. We will rise to the challenges of the future by providing opportunities for work and a free and vigorous education to all Australians.
We pledge to be peacemakers and good neighbours in the international community of nations.
Malo karbilli guyungungun Pamanyungun
Narlie winunguldul gailun.
One day we will all stand strong on this land, Australia, our home, come.
I understand what has to be done.
Do you know?
Together we shall:
Acknowledge and embrace the diversity of Australia, of its land and of the
peoples that inhabit it.
Understand the joys and sorrows of our fellow citizens, for only by so understanding
shall we find the compassion for each other that will make us strong.
Allow ourselves and all others to live life in peace and harmony, for all will
prosper as a consequence.
Learn from our pasts so we may have hope that our futures will bring change,
for in the truth we will find the strength to make this possible.
Acknowledge that there is not one god but many. No one belief is superior to the
other and all are free to worship as they choose.
Strive always to empower all of us, both as individuals and as the nation created
by this Act.
Respect our pioneers, both men and women, of every creed and colour for their
efforts in building this country they have given us.
Give homage to the struggles and deeds of the immigrant.
Respect and acknowledge the land and its first peoples.
Respect and acknowledge the suffering and injustices of the past for it is only by
doing this that we shall move forward together as a nation, united and indivisible.
[Reproduced by kind permission of the Australian Republican Movement]
Information about the writers:
From New South Wales, born 1966, is a novelist, essayist and critic.
From New South Wales, born 1954, is a poet who has published twelve books, including four verse novels.
From Murgon in Queensland, born 1970, is a Goa-Gungarri-Wakka Wakka woman. She is a writer of books and plays, actor, singer and director.
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Last modified: 05 July, 2003