August 26

New Senator affirms allegiance, declares Australia not truly independent

When she made her oath or rather, affirmation of allegiance before the Governor-General as a new Senator for Tasmania on 4 July, 2011 Lisa Singh solemnly declared:

"I, Lisa Singh, do solemnly and sincerely affirm and declare that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, Her heirs and successors according to law"


On 6 November 1999, the people of Australia, including the people of Tasmania and every other state, overwhelmingly rejected a proposal which would have made Australia a politicians' republic and removed this provision from the constitution.

….Australia not truly independent – like Canada?


But when delivering her maiden speech forty four days later on 16 August 2011, Senator Singh said :

"…we still, in my view, have a way to go in fully declaring ourselves as the architect of our own destiny. As a former state convenor of the Australian Republican Movement, I hope that in my time in this place Australia becomes a truly independent nation with our own head of state."



"Truly" independent, Senator?  Like Canada, as two other senators have claimed? Justice Lionel Murphy said we became independent in 1901 because we then had the right to change our Constitution, the first Dominion to enjoy this.

Some say  it was in 1919 when we signed the Treaty of Versailles and became a member of the League of Nations. Most experts say it was  sometime between the Balfour Declaration in 1926  and our adoption of the 1931 Statute of Westminster in 1942.

We are of course fully and truly independent.

…it wasn't always like this…

This a photo of  the Federal Labour* Party MPs elected to the Australian House of Representatives and Australian Senate at the inaugural 1901 election, including Chris Watson, Andrew Fisher, Billy Hughes, Frank Tudor, King O'Malley and Lee Batchelor. They all swore or affirmed their allegiance; none used their maiden speech to call for the conversion of the Commonwealth into some politicians’ republic.

(The spelling was changed to "Labor" in 1912)



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