The incident demonstrates the lingering pain felt by Australia's First Nations people since the occupation of their country by British settlers in 1788. In other Commonwealth Nations, the Queen's death has prompted rumblings -- some louder than others -- of moves to abandon the British monarchy for a republic. But in Australia, despite Prime Minister Anthony Albanese's pro-republic views, there's no concerted push in that direction.
In interviews and press conferences since the Queen's death, Albanese has repeatedly said now is not the time to time to be talking about a republic. And on Tuesday, the Australian Republican Movement seemed to agree, suspending its campaign on the issue until after the period of mourning "out of respect for the Queen."
But for Albanese, the reluctance to push for a republic right now is not just a matter of respect for the late monarch. The Labor leader made a pre-election promise to hold a referendum to recognize Australia's First Nations people in the constitution within his first three-year term, if he won office.
When asked about it on Monday, Albanese said: "I said at the time I couldn't envisage a circumstance where we changed our Head of State to an Australian Head of State but still didn't recognize First Nations people in our constitution and the fact that we live with the oldest continuous culture on Earth. So that's our priorities this term."
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