What is a ‘referendum?

Avenue of honour

The referendum to make Australia a republic and change our flag received the ‘NO’ vote. This surprised some people but not the majority. The failed republic referendum is a good example of why referendums are not successful.

photo of ‘Arch of Victory’ Ballarat taken by P Hughes, Remembrance Day, November 2005.

So why did Australians decide to keep the Union Jack on our flag?


Perhaps its because we fought under it in 2 world wars, also the Korean war and the Vietnam war.

Photo of the Selwoods 1942, Ararat, Vic.

Frederick Anzac Selwood on the left did a tour of Europe, Africa and France. He came home for some training and represented the flag in Kokoda, New Guinea. Keith on the right donated 3 years of his life in Europe. Absent are Alec and Lindsay who were both soldiering on overseas when this photo was taken.

All survived those conflicts to return to Australia and live under that Union Jack and Southern Cross flag.

These are the sorts of stories that are part of our history, part of our Federation and part of our Constitution.

A referendum to change the Constitution is a very expensive and important part of our Nations governance. It reflects the feelings of the individual states and the nation as a whole.

This concept is very important in your studies of the Constitution and Outcome Two.


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