Alumni News Articles

Australian of the Year 2010 says grow up Australia

27 August 2010

Professor Patrick McGorry, says Australia needs to become an adult nation and seek it’s “tryst with destiny” by becoming an Australian Republic.

Professor McGorry, who became the 2010 Australian of the Year for his 25 years service in youth mental health, spoke at the annual National Republican Lecture in Canberra last night.

In his speech, he said that he can see parallels between his work with youth and Australia’s path to full nationhood.

“Australia’s adolescence has lasted more than 100 years since Federation,” he says.

“It is time for Australia to pass the test of maturity and finally emerge from its prolonged ado-lescence into the full flower of independent adulthood as the Republic of Australia.”

An Australian Republic will allow Australia to accept its own unique and complex identity, which includes indigenous Australia and our immigrant heritage, says Professor McGorry.

“Let’s provoke and inspire Australians to finally face up to the test of maturity, our own tryst with destiny, and become...a truly independent republic with its own unique and complex identity,” he says.

Other prominent Australians, including Wayne Goss, Greg Barns and Mungo MacCallum have expressed their strong support for Professor McGorry’s vision.

“I am Australian and proud of what Australians, whether by birth or choice, have achieved in establishing our country and own distinct character,” says ex-Premier Wayne Goss.

“While we have come far, we need to finish the journey by showing the world - and more importantly ourselves - that we proudly and independently stand on our own two feet,” says Mr Goss.

“Patrick McGorry’s vision for what a republic means to Australians is spot on,” says prominent barrister Greg Barns.

“As Australians see a new balance of power in parliament as a chance for democratic renewal, so might we care to take up Professor McGorry’s invitation to place the notion of an Australian Head of State on that agenda,” says Mr Barns.

Patrick McGorry’s thoughtful and inspiring contribution to the Republic debate confirms his entitlement to being named Australian of the Year, says eminent journalist Mungo MacCallum.

“I was particularly struck by the way he showed the relevance of Republicanism to our greatest success — multiculturalism — and our greatest failure — the need for reconciliation,” says Mr MacCallum.

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