In conversation with Benjamin Jones


Matt Thistlethwaite will launch Benjamin Jones' This Time: Australia's Republican Past and Future before a conversation between Benjamin Jones and Michael Cooney.

In this crisp yet comprehensive book, Benjamin Jones explores Australia's long republican history and boldly charts a path to an independent future. With republicans leading every government around the nation, now is the time to discuss not only why Australia should become a republic, but what kind of republic it should be.

In This Time, Benjamin reveals the fascinating early history of the republican movement of the 1850s and its larger-than-life characters. He sees Australia's past as a predominantly Anglo monoculture and why we need a new model for a transformed nation. He demolishes monarchist arguments and discusses what went wrong in 1999 and the way forward from here, including the best method for appointing an Australian head of state.

'This Time takes us to the high ground of political argument. His republic is one that institutionalises and promotes the values of democracy, meritocracy and community not just in our constitution but also in the many symbols we need to unite and inspire our citizens, including our flag, our coins and our national anthem' Geoff Gallop, former premier of Western Australia

"Powerful and compelling. This is the book we've been waiting for. Jones has written the most passionate and coherent argument for an Australian republic in decades.' Mark McKenna, award-winning author of An Eye for Eternity: The Life of Manning Clark


Benjamin T. Jones is a Research Fellow in the ANU School of History. His other books include Republicanism and Responsible Government and Project Republic (as co-editor). He is a regular guest on ABC Radio National and contributor to The Conversation.

Matt Thistlethwaite has been an Australian Labor Party member of the Australian House of Representatives since 2013, representing the electorate of Kingsford Smith. He was formerly a member of the Australian Senate from 2011 to 2013. Matt Thistlethwaite served as Parliamentary Secretary in various capacities in the Gillard and Rudd Governments

Michael Cooney was appointed National Director and CEO of the Australian Republic Movement in May 2017, after serving as the Executive Director of the Chifley Research Centre for three years. Previously, Michael was Speechwriter to Prime Minister the Hon Julia Gillard MP, the founding Policy Director at Per Capita and Principal Policy Adviser to Federal Labor Leaders Kim Beazley and Mark Latham. He is the author of The Gillard Project (Penguin, 2015).

Professor Kim Rubenstein from ANU College of Law will deliver the vote of thanks.

Pre-event book signings will take place from 5.30pm and then again after the event. This event is in association with Dymocks Canberra and books will be available for purchase.