Are we trying to con Adelaide?

Friday, 3 September 1999

No. But we want the people of Adelaide to attend the Con and have their say - at the University of Adelaide's Constitutional Convention (Wednesday, September 15).

The University's Department of Social Inquiry is holding its own "Constitutional Convention". Speakers from all sides of the Republic debate will give their views on issues from the proposed referendum questions, to electing a president, the content of the preamble, and the current state of democracy in Australia.

Members of the public who attend the Convention will also be given the chance to vote in their own referendum by casting votes in a secret ballot.

The Constitutional Convention will be chaired by the Hon. Barry Jones (Deputy Chair, Constitutional Convention 1998) and the Hon. Greg Crafter (Chairman, University of Adelaide's Alumni Association).

The co-organiser of the event and Head of the Department of Social Inquiry, Professor Chilla Bulbeck, says this Convention is aimed at encouraging public discussion of the major issues in the lead-up to the November 6 referendum.

"Most discussions of the republican issue have focused on whether or not Australia should become a republic, or - for some republicans - if the proposed model is so bad that we should stay a monarchy," Professor Bulbeck says.

"Discussions feature the 'usual suspects', representatives from the major organisations for or against a republic, politicians of one persuasion or another. Few of these allow Australians to consider what it means to be Australian citizens at the end of the 20th century, and how that affects the way we respond to the republican issue.

"Few public meetings consider the issues raised in the preamble. Few of these meetings allow the audience to be co-equal delegates with the invited speakers. And none of them conclude in a vote on the referendum issues.

"This is what makes our Constitutional Convention unique. We want community discussion of these important issues before the referendum," she says.

WHERE: University of Adelaide Council Room
Level 7, Hughes Building

WHEN: 3.30 - 8.00 pm, Wednesday, September 15

REGISTRATION: $30 (waged), $10 (unwaged), phone: 8303 3715


Contact Details

Professor Chilla Bulbeck
Discipline of Gender, Work and Social Inquiry
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 4864
Mobile: 0407 165 753

Ms Robyn Mills
Media and Communications Officer
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 6341
Mobile: +61 410 689 084

Mr David Ellis
Deputy Director, Media and Corporate Relations
External Relations
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 5414
Mobile: +61 (0)421 612 762