Constituency Statements: Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II: Diamond Jubilee

I rise this morning to draw the House’s attention to the upcoming diamond jubilee, the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II as head of the Commonwealth. The sixth of January 2012 will mark the diamond jubilee of Her Majesty. The only other British monarch to celebrate a diamond jubilee was Queen Victoria in 1897. It is a significant moment in our history and a notable occasion for our young country, being the first such event of this magnitude since we became a Federation on 1 January 1901. The Queen’s diamond jubilee will see large-scale events and celebrations organised in celebration of this historic occasion in many British Commonwealth countries, including the issuing of the diamond jubilee medal in Canada to honour significant contributions and achievements. I was recently contacted by the Australian Monarchist League Queensland branch chairman, Tristan Rogers, regarding the diamond jubilee celebrations in Australia. In his letter he implored me to raise this matter with the Gillard government to ensure that the diamond jubilee is recognised even in a small way in Queensland.

The Australian Monarchist League was established by a group of hardworking volunteers for the encouragement of literature and to uphold the educational and cultural aspects of our constitutional monarchy. They have been working tirelessly to ensure that Her Majesty’s diamond jubilee is a page of our history that is not forgotten, and they believe that we, as Australians, should not let discussions of constitutional change halt celebrations of Her Majesty’s diamond jubilee. Many Australian organisations have already been contacted by the AML and are subsequently choosing to mark this significant event with individual celebrations. I think it is important to remind the House that under the Constitution the reigning British monarch is also the Australian monarch, and therefore Australia’s head of state. As a nation, we should recognise our monarch’s many decades of service and pay tribute to Her Majesty’s longevity in 2012. This is not about whether you are a monarchist or a republican; it is about respect. I call on the Gillard government to ensure that the appropriate recognition by this great country is given to Her Majesty’s diamond jubilee, so that we may all celebrate this momentous occasion in our nation’s young history. I would like to congratulate the Australian Monarchist League for their steadfast efforts in ensuring that the Australia public are aware of her Majesty’s upcoming diamond jubilee.

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