"Let us have the courage to ask ourselves if we measure up to more than just a grab-bag of cliches," he said.
"Let us declare that our head of state should be one of us.
"Let us rally behind an Australian republic - a model that truly speaks for who we are, our modern identity, our place in our region and our world."
Cliches anyone? Really. It gets worse if you look at Mr Shorten's apparent views on Australian history.
The one really important issue that Mr Shorten raised was the need for constitutional recognition of Australia's Aboriginal heritage. This is something that I support as a way of putting one aspect of Australia's past behind us. Sadly, it has all become highly problematic. There is no agreement that I can see within the Aboriginal community, while the non-Aboriginal community doesn't care a great deal and is equally divided. Then to mix the question, as Mr Shorten did, with other issues is to add too division.
Fortunately, as an historian I do not have to buy into Mr Shorten's apparent interpretation of the Australian past. I don't want to play in the history wars.In writing, my task is to present the evidence and (hopefully) make it interesting.