November 7, 1999 |
Australians awoke today to the realization that their largely pro-republican country had voted decisively to retain the British monarch as head of state for the foreseeable future. With four-fifths of the vote counted, tallies in the country's Saturday referendum showed that 55% had voted to retain Queen Elizabeth II as head of state rather than allow the political elite to appoint a home-grown president.
August 27, 1999 |
The Australian Parliament recognized 200 years of injustice to the country's indigenous people Thursday, saying it regretted "the most blemished chapter" in the nation's history. The historic motion came the same day that an Aboriginal woman taken from her mother at birth lost a legal battle considered crucial for Australia's so-called "stolen generations."
October 4, 1998 |
Overcoming resistance to a controversial tax reform plan, the conservative coalition government headed by Prime Minister John Howard won reelection by a narrow margin Saturday, according to incomplete reports on Australian federal elections.
October 3, 1998 |
Vegemite is a salty, black yeast paste that millions of Australians religiously spread on their breakfast toast. The sticky substance, approached warily by those who do not live here, also is a kind of national symbol, or "icon" as the Australians call it, that helps define this island continent. For nearly half a century, Australians have been comforted by a bouncy radio-television commercial jingle, "Happy Little Vegemites," that serves as a unifying national ditty.
June 14, 1997 |
Japan and New Zealand joined Australia in breaking with the U.S. and Britain by rejecting a boycott of the swearing-in of Hong Kong's Beijing-appointed legislature during July 1 hand-over ceremonies. "I know there is an issue over whether we should go to this or not. But I think we must go," Japanese Premier Ryutaro Hashimoto said in Tokyo.
June 8, 1995 |
Prime Minister Paul Keating, unveiling his blueprint for a republic, said Wednesday that Australia must ditch Britain's Queen Elizabeth II as head of state before it can truly be independent. "It is the government's view that Australia's head of state should be an Australian and that Australia should become a republic by the year 2001," Keating told Parliament. Keating said Australians would decide by referendum in 1998 or 1999 whether to dump the monarch in favor of a nonpolitical president.