Other First Nations leaders are more open to the proposal but say the details could be difficult to get right.
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh attend the State Opening of Parliament in London in 2013. Credit: Getty
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, who is a republican, has ruled out holding a referendum on the republic in his first term of government. His government has already committed to a referendum on the , something Labor took to the election, and he has said he did not think it was feasible to have multiple debates.
Meanwhile, Opposition leader Peter Dutton has said he wants Australia to continue as a constitutional monarchy.
What did Waleed Aly propose?
Aly said installing an Indigenous head of state would enable the pomp and ceremony associated with the royals to continue, with something more fitting in Australia but still magical.
Aly has welcomed feedback on the idea.
Indigenous governor-general could be a good start
“So the actual republican model is what’s important to get right in the first instance … and I believe the prime minister has also said …. we have to delay the republic debate until we deal with the Voice [to Parliament].”
Professor Marcia Langton Credit: BENT3LAND PRODUCTIONS
Professor Langton also acknowledged criticism that the concept of having a singular Indigenous elder as head of state did not align completely with Indigenous concepts of leadership.
“The role of Elder properly speaking in Indigenous society is a customary role that is earned,” she said. “It’s not a hereditary role, it’s partly hereditary, but the attributes of leadership have to be met, so all of those attributes have to be spelled out clearly if this proposal were to be pursued.”
Aboriginal elder, Professor Tom Calma, chancellor of the University of Canberra, is also supportive of having more Indigenous people appointed to governorship roles.
Professor Tom Calma is an Aboriginal elder from the Kungarakan tribal group and a member of the Iwaidja tribal group. Source: SBS News / Supplied
He said it might even be good to see Indigenous people appointed as deputies or emissaries to assist the state governors or governor-general in performing certain duties.
“As long as they don’t take oxygen out of the Voice and the referendum discussions, they’re all hand-in-hand.”
Proposal shows ‘lack of understanding’
“Adding your own voice – particularly when you have a loud, platformed voice – to the chatter, actually drowns out Indigenous voices & then gathers/steals support from non-indigenous people who otherwise may have been there to support our work, ideas & pathways.”
Republican Movement rejects proposal
“We firmly believe that in a democratic country like Australia, our head of state should be chosen by Australians, elected by Australians and accountable to them. Any Australian should be able to aspire to be our nation’s head of state.
“What we need now is for people to join us and get involved” said ARM chair Peter FizSimons.
Australian Republican Movement national chairman Peter Fitzsimons. Source: AAP / Dan Himbrechts
During a condolence motion to Queen Elizabeth II in Parliament last week, .
“The Queen’s relationship with Indigenous Australians reflects both how far we have come and how far we still have to go.”