Australians no longer perceive themselves as an extension of the mother country, but as a nation whose future lies in the region of Asia, both economically and culturally. The classes our children attend at school, and particularly at higher learning centres, are filled with Australians (not British subjects) whose heritage and allegiance do not lie with England. They are born in Australia, Indonesia, Vietnam, India, New Zealand, Italy, Greece and Hong Kong.
As Britain becomes increasingly tied to the European Community, the pretence of British sovereignty must be addressed. Like a child who is maturing into adulthood, Australia as a nation needs to develop its own sense of identity and independence.
The prime minister, Paul Keating, anticipates that this will be achieved by the end of this century. Debate is being encouraged, particularly among eminent Australians who support Mr Keating in his objective.
In the near future, Australia will have not only its own anthem, but a distinctively Australian flag and an Australian as head of state. This does not mean that Britain's legacy in Australia will be ignored, but simply that we have reached an inevitable parting, and one that should not be protracted and painful.
While the monarchs have long graced our television screens and the covers of our magazines, they are referred to as the monarchs of Britain and not Australia, and this is as it should be.
My children are Australian, and they should be proud Australians, not citizens of the faded British empire that bears little relevance to their lives.
16 MarchReuse content