Letter: Time for Australia to come of age

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The Independent Online
Sir: As a young Australian of Scottish and Irish origins living in London, I commend you on your concise and mature editorial on the Australian republican debate (27 January).

You successfully made the point that a British monarch on the other side of the world is largely irrelevant for a nation in which citizens with Anglo-Saxon origins are now in the minority. While Australia's current status as a constitutional monarchy reflects its British past, it denies the country's future identity which must be based on its cosmopolitan and multicultural present.

Australia's declaration of itself as a republic would not amount to a national criticism of the British Royal Family, nor would it mean the country was denying its historical roots. Australians are, however, becoming increasingly aware that white settlement in 1788 was not a peaceable event; for the original inhabitants of the country, white settlement signalled the devastation of a 40,000-year-old culture, and the death of thousands of aboriginal people. This is not an aspect of our past of which we are particularly proud.

There are, therefore, many economic, cultural and sentimental reasons why it is time for Australia to come of age. Don't be offended - it's really nothing personal.

Yours sincerely,

SAMANTHA THOMSON

London, SW12

27 January

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