OFFICIAL BATHURST WRITERS’ & READERS’ FESTIVAL OPENING EVENT
The Australian constitution can only be changed through a referendum with the high bar of a majority of people and a majority of states required to vote Yes. Referendums took place in every decade of the 20th Century but there hasn’t been a single one in this century and not a successful one since 1977. There are now not one but two constitutional changes being proposed by the government: one to provide First Nations with an enshrined Voice to Parliament and one to make the Commonwealth a fully independent republic with an Australian head of state. Drawing on his new book, Australia on the World Stage, Dr Benjamin T. Jones will discuss the history behind these to proposed changes and how they both represent a reimagining of who we are as Australians and our place in the world.
An exclusive live event for Bathurst Writers’ & Readers’ Festival.
ABOUT DR BENJAMIN JONES
Dr Benjamin T. Jones is a senior lecturer in History at Central Queensland University, a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and a Foundation Fellow of the Australian Studies Institute. He is also the National Secretary of the Australian Historical Association. Primarily a historian of Australian political history, he is an expert on republicanism and national identity. His recent books include Australia on the World stage (Routledge, 2022), History in a Post-Truth World (Routledge, 2020) and This Time: Australia’s Republican Past and Future (Redback, 2018).