Clark lecture to re-open the republic question

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MARK McKenna was the winner of the 2012 Prime Minister’s Award for Non-Fiction for his biography, “An Eye For Eternity: The Life of Manning Clark,” so he’s a logical choice to present the thirteenth Dymphna Clark Lecture as he will do at The National Library on Wednesday.

Mark McKenna receiving his award from PM Julia Gillard
McKenna has been a Senior Research Fellow and Faculty at the University of Sydney since 2006 and will be revisiting a vexed question in his lecture, “Starting all over again: Rethinking the republic of Australia for the 21st century.”

More than a decade since the 1999 referendum, he will argue, there is no sign that the republican fire is about to be rekindled. “The Labor Party offers mute support. The conservative parties believe the issue is dead.”

What’s more, he will say, among the political class, there is no sense of urgency, with even many of those who led the Yes campaign in the 1999 referendum falling into line with the view that the republic should wait until the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

In this lecture, McKenna will argue that we need to start rethinking arguments for a republic and make them relevant to Australia in the twenty-first century, right now.

Mark McKenna presents The 13th Dymphna Clark Lecture 8pm-9pm, Wed, November 14, at The National Library of Australia, $30 ($20 members, $15 concession) Bookings to 6295 1808 or email or

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