By Richard Slater

    Professor Albert Pedant (MA Hons- Lagos, PhD – American Samoa) – emeritus adjunct professor at the online university of Woolloomooloo, has diligently researched the history of numerous Australian wine brands and labels. His treatise (2018) on Clonakilla, Hill of Grace, Para Port, and Grange Hermitage was acclaimed with international renown, numerous awards and academic prizes.

    A recent lecture is reprinted with kind permission. 


    It may surprise that I welcome the Republican movement in Australia, and its inevitable success.

    Some imagine that historians seek merely to preserve the past, wallowing in its nostalgic fascinations. But time’s arrow moves only forwards. Australia demands a citizen of its own as Head of State. But apart from the formalities and constitutional minutiae, there are consequential effects.

    The necessary changes will be profound, and this will be a challenge to historians to ensure that heritage is properly preserved, documented, and archived; not neglected, discarded, or destroyed.

    Let me run through some instances.

    Thankfully, Australian coins will be updated and lose the unwelcome effigy of a foreign monarch on one side; perhaps we can see the return of animals depicted on the superseded one and two cent coins – the feather-tailed glider and the frilled-neck lizard- there will be others that can fill the spaces on higher-denomination coins. 

    References to the King (and the former Queen) will be removed. This applies to buildings, institutions, societies and charities. There will be no more Royal Commissions, no more Kings and Queens of Moomba.

    Any hotels etc with Royal, King, Queen, Prince, Princess, Knight, Duke, Duchess, Baron, Lord, Earl, Countess, Viscount – or similar, including Crown Casino- will need new names and follow-on actions.

    Next, there is a plethora of affected streets, towns and place names – Royal Parade, Queens Parade, the Princes Highway, Kings Way, Queenscliff, Queenstown, even Queensland (hopefully replaced with a memorable first nations name). Clearly, Victoria and Adelaide also stand on shaky ground. 

    Clearly the overall cost will be substantial, with special benefits to the legal fraternity. Most wills, trusts, and corporate entities will require scrutiny, and numerous trademark, domain names, email addresses will be altered. Logos, signage, advertising, stationary, business cards, and much more. Legislative and statutory references to “the Crown” will be substituted.

    What a boon for the economy! What a gift for my profession, as well as genealogy; with alas unwelcome opportunities for scammers, identity fraud and theft.

    I welcome the transformational challenges of the Republic of Australia, and am comforted that my companies (and those of my colleagues and peers) have consulting rates that are reasonable considering the monumental complexities involved.

    In summary, the changes caused by the move to a Republic will make the introduction of decimal currency, the metric system, Y2K preparations and the introduction of the GST look elementary. Eventually, the Australian flag will change too, becoming something more authentic. 

    In this brief lecture, I have only touched on a few of the essential considerations, and there are many more examples I could have provided, if my emolument tonight was greater.

    Lastly, there will be a pressing need for an official organisation to provide clarity and guidance before, and throughout the transition, issuing definitive judgements in case of disputes. My anticipated appointment as head of the Institute of Republic Arbitration (IRA), is an honour, and certainly not an imperial honour.” 

    Richard Slater
    Richard Slater
    Richard lives in Altona Meadows with his partner and daughter. Pre-COVID, he thrashed the local Men's Shed, various libraries, and U3A. He is learning guitar (acoustic and electric) and blues harmonica,  merrily cluttering home with books, CDs and classic DVDs. is his outlet for selected reviews and wine-related humour.

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