The 1999 referendum was the topic of Ben’s honours thesis in 2007. Researching its history inspired him to become politically active and to campaign for an Australian Head of State.
Ben Jones passionately believes that Australia should be fully independent with an Australian Head of State. He was too young to vote in the 1999 referendum but researched it in his 2007 honours thesis while his PhD from the Australian National University looked at civic republicanism in colonial Australia. This research led Ben to become politically active and to campaign for an Australian Head of State. He a life member of the Australian Republic Movement and has served on the ACT and Queensland branch councils. He has published extensively on Australian republicanism from a historical and political perspective in both the academic and mainstream press. In 2017 he delivered the Daniel Deniehy Oration in Goulburn, NSW. In 2018 he published This Time: Australia’s republican past and future which argues for a hybrid republican model with the best features of minimalism and direct election.
The hybrid model was co-designed with Professor Paul Pickering and was initially called the Jones-Pickering model. It called for a system where each state and territory would nominate a worthy individual followed by a general vote to become head of state. The basic details were also published in the Conversation in 2018. In 2022, following extensive consultation the Australian Republic Movement adopted and adapted the hybrid model and created their preferred Australian Choice model.
Ben delivering a repeat of the 2017 Daniel Deniehy Oration at the Australian National University.
Ben discussing the hybrid model and why it is needed to pass a referendum.