Since the defeat, the republic movement became stagnant but there were attempts in recent years to revive public interest. From Harry and Meghan’s controversial interview with Oprah, Prince Andrew and the Epstein scandal to the death of the Duke of Edinburgh, supporters have called for the country to sever ties with the monarchy.
SBS Chinese spoke to Chinese-Australians, asking them if it’s finally time for Australia to become a republic.
‘I think it’s the wrong time’
“However, we’ve just had a new government and I think this term of government may not be the best time. Perhaps it would be for the next government, whether it’s Liberal or Labor, as it’s a very significant event and the success rate for becoming a republic as the past has shown, has been low.”
Dr Felix Lo believes it’s the wrong time to be considering becoming a republic. Source: Supplied
Dr Lo added with interest rate hikes and the cost of living crunch, it wouldn’t be on many people’s priorities’ list to have debates about becoming a republic.
When asked if a republic Australia would change its identity and improve its image to Asian countries, Dr Lo said: “Superficially it might, but it wouldn’t make a substantial difference because it all boils down to the government’s foreign policies at the end of the day.”
‘The time to change is now’
“Australia has nothing to do with the British Empire aside from a dark history of colonialism and current diplomatic relations.
Erin Chew is the founder of the Asian Australian Alliance. Source: Supplied
“Why are we still having governors and governors-general sign off political and ministerial appointments and approve passed legislation when that step is no longer relevant but more of a symbolic gesture to the monarchy? The monarchy really has no say or influence in how Australia runs, so let’s get rid of it as an unnecessary step.
With heavy responsibilities to fulfil and the world watching closely how the new monarch continues the legacy of his mother, some have questioned whether King Charles III’s reign would continue to inspire unity amongst the Commonwealth nations as Queen Elizabeth II had done.
King Charles III ‘isn’t as popular’
“With King Charles III becoming the new monarch, it may have an effect on the image of the British royal family. He isn’t as popular as the Queen, but his sons and especially Prince William, are greatly admired and well-loved,” he said.
Sam Wong says some Australians may not warm to King Charles III’s reign. Credit: LinkedIn
Mr Wong said if Prince William was the one ascending the throne, he would be successful in continuing the legacy and adulation of the British monarchy in the 21st century. Otherwise, the monarchy may be in danger of losing its appeal.
“Others may feel this is part of ‘assimilating’ and to ‘fit into’ Australia. Of course, many of us know this is not the way to think, but the truth is, many feel, by default, to embrace all these things like the monarchy, and not really understanding the history.”
‘Why do we have to rush to change?’
“I was very sad that the Queen passed away. I was brought up in Hong Kong and before 1997, the Queen’s photo was everywhere. When the Queen visited Hong Kong, we celebrated her visit. I thought she was a very calm and elegant lady and as a little girl, it gave me joy and hope,” she said.
Joey Chan has fond memories of Queen Elizabeth II. Source: Supplied
When Ms Chan travelled to the UK for further studies, she also represented the UK in the first European Chinese Singing Competition, which took place in 1991 in Rotterdam. After winning the competition, Ms Chen performed at the Duke of Edinburgh Awards in Birmingham.
“Maybe give King Charles a chance and see if he will be an inspiring and dutiful King. If he doesn’t do a good job, then perhaps consider changing. In Australia, it’s not very stable at the moment. Life is becoming tougher and I think our priorities should be sorting out the economy and the standard of living.”