Executive Director of the Lowy Institute, Michael Fullilove has thrown his support behind an Indigenous Voice to Parliament and Australia becoming a Republic.

Speaking at the National Press Club in Canberra on Wednesday, the head of Australia’s leading independent think tank said a Voice to Parliament will provide a mechanism for First Nations people to be consulted on laws that will affect them directly.

“it’s past time in my opinion to recognise First Nations peoples in our constitution as a milestone on the way towards recognising them in our hearts,” Dr Fullilove said.

“Many constitutional conservatives have testified that it would do no violence to our democratic processes. I hope that we are large enough as a country to do this thing.”

Finishing his address, Dr Fullilove said as the Queen’s reign comes to an end, it’s time to consider Australia’s constitutional arrangements.

“I believe Australia’s head of state should be an Australian citizen who lives in Australia, who is chosen by Australians and represents Australians,” Dr Fullilove said.

“Becoming a Republic would make us prouder and more purposeful. It would be an expression of faith that there are Australians capable of filling every office under the constitution, including the highest one.”

“An Australian president would travel overseas as our representative in the same way the Queen has so ably represented Britain abroad. But I don’t say we should become a Republic so others respect us more, we should become a Republic so that we respect ourselves more,” he said.

“Australia is a great country, an Indigenous Voice to Parliament and a Republic would make us greater.”

Michael Fullilove speaking at the National Press Club