What do we want for our Head of State?

Deakin conference to further explore the role now and into the future.

Professor Damien Kingsbury, (centre), was part of Deakin's YES WE'RE STILL A MONARCHY BUT IT IS NOT MY FAULT forum in 2010. He is flanked by Greg Barton (left) and Professor Marian Simms.
Professor Damien Kingsbury, (centre), was part of Deakin's YES WE'RE STILL A MONARCHY BUT IT IS NOT MY FAULT forum in 2010. He is flanked by Greg Barton (left) and Professor Marian Simms.

Deakin University is hosting a conference to explore the role of the Australian Head of State, both now and into the future

The conference will be held at the Deakin University Melbourne City Centre, Level 3, 550 Bourke Street, Melbourne, on February 4th, 2012.

The main aims of the conference are to:

  • Improve the present level of knowledge and understanding of the role of the Head of state discussing the strengths and weaknesses of the present system.
  • Identify common aspirations for the Head of State's role in the future, including engaging with the younger and rural demographic to help foster an interest in our HOS and change to a republic.

The Keynote Speaker is The Honourable Kate Ellis MP.

In addition to the Keynote Address there will be four sessions concluding with a combined Question and Answer session comprising notable Australians, reflecting an interesting mix of views relating to the conference sessions.

These sessions are:

What is the present role of a Head of State?

1. Our current System of government

  • Building an understanding of the framework that underpins our HoS.
  • Explaining the current social, and legal framework of the current system, covering in non-legal terms the nuts and bolts and what needs to be done to achieve constitutional change.
  • What's served us well and what's worth taking forward?

2. Comparing the roles of Heads of State around the world

  • Discussion about the need for an Australian Head of State
  • Compares other systems around the work outlining what has worked and what hasn’t 
  • How other nations have built their systems and lessons we could learn?
  • How can the Head of State role better engage the community in the future, including young people and rural communities state-wide.

3. Defining who we are and translating our identity to the Head of State's role

  • The role the HoS plays in our nation character
  • The relevance of the HoS in our day to day lives and communities
  • Does the current model represent us and promote our nation as we are today?

4. Spreading the conversation: The value and use of Social Media and internet based media to connect with Rural and Younger Australians

  • Social Media use in connecting dispersed communities
  • Using Social Media to engage with young people and promote learning
  • How Social Media mechanism can be used to build grass roots engagement for an Australian Head of State.

Abstracts for the conference are now being sought. Deakin University is inviting prospective submitters to initially forward an abstract or abstracts for each session of interest, clearly setting out the idea and intent of the full paper that would be prepared.

Successful applicants will then be invited to submit a full paper(s) for publication, with an opportunity to present the papers at the conference. The organising committee reserves the right to accept or not accept responses.

All accepted papers will appear in a publication produced from the conference, and include reflections arising from the Q&A session.

The Australian Republic Movement (Victoria) further intends circulating the conference publication within government and community circles, to promote understanding and interest in what we want for our future Head of State.

Abstract proposals should be sent by email to Deakin's Centre for Citizenship Development and Human Rights (CCDHR), at ccdhr@deakin.edu.au  before 31 December  2011.

Papers should adopt normal academic writing conventions:

  • The papers themselves should be available at the time of the workshop and be around 5,000 words in length.
  • The style should include Harvard (in-text) referencing - e.g. Smith 2005:93 - with a bibliography of sources cited at the end.
  • The structure of the papers should begin by outlining the main premise or contention and then proceed to elaborate upon it, building a logical argument reaching a conclusion.

For further details about the conference contact :

Simon Bateman, ARM Victorian Convenor at sbateman@netspace.net.au or 0430 283 949
Damien Kingsbury, Deakin University, at damien.kingsbury@deakin.edu.au or 03 9244 6410
CCDHR, Deakin University, at ccdhr@deakin.edu.au

Further reading:

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