Nathan Hansford elected to Australia Republic Movement executive

20 November 2022 3 min. read
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With renewed wind in its sails as it eyes a future referendum, the Australia Republic Movement (ARM) has recently refreshed its executive leadership – among them EY’s Nathan Hansford.

Canberra-based EY’er Nathan Hansford – a director in the Strategy & Transactions wing – has been named among a handful of prominent identities to the National Executive of the Australian Republic Movement – the nation’s peak organisation campaigning for constitutional change and an end to ties with the British monarchy.

Hansford, who will serve as treasurer and joined EY toward the end of last year, will further be accompanied by former Socceroo and human rights advocate Craig Foster – elected to replace journalist Peter FitzSimons as chair – along with Olympic Games gold medalist and former senator Nova Peris, and Rationalist Society president Meredith Doig as deputy chairs.

Nathan Hansford, Director in Strategy & Transactions, EY

Media personality Adam Spencer, policy adviser Tiffany O’Keefe, and former PwC Diversity Advisory Board non-executive director Marina Go were also elected to Australia Republic Movement’s executive.

“My thanks to all our members and supporters for the confidence they’ve placed in us,” Foster commented. “I assure everyone that we understand the importance of the movement for Australia’s future and the responsibility weighs heavily. The calibre, experience, diversity, gender balance and acumen of the National Committee is representative of contemporary Australia and I’m excited to be working with them all.”

Established in 1991 with celebrated author Thomas Keneally and former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull among its first cohort of committee members, the ARM suffered a crippling defeat in its ambitions when the 1999 referendum failed to pass – at a time when opinion polls suggested that a majority of the electorate favoured a republic. Yet, the movement has recently been thrust back into the spotlight with the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

Initially a sensitive political topic in the immediate wake, the Australian Labor government has since reiterated its support for becoming a republic, with another referendum likely to be held during the party’s second term if re-elected.

Originally foreshadowing its intentions with the appointment of Matt Thistlethwaite as Assistant Minister for the Republic, the government also recently announced it would embark on a consultation tour from early next year.    

Meanwhile, this won’t be the first time Hansford finds himself in the public eye – or rather, technically out of it. Hansford in 2014 made national headlines following his reported disappearance while in Southeast Asia, during which time he was running his own government consultancy business out of Bangkok. He was found two months later in a hotel in neighboring Cambodia, apparently suffering from the effects of amnesia following a motorcycle accident.

A specialist in public finance and capital market development, the incident – later featured in the DFAT television docuseries The Embassy – marks what appears to be a colourful life and career. In addition to serving as a volunteer firefighter, Hansford has previously spent a government policy contract stint working alongside McKinsey & Company as a Chief of Party for KPMG in Saudi Arabia, and has also carried out past assignments in Yemen, Afghanistan and Iraq.