Australia changes national anthem to reflect indigenous past

Australia changes national anthem to reflect indigenous past
Wiradjuri woman Olivia Fox sang the national anthem in indigenous language Dharug in December. Source: Getty Images
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Daily US Times: Australians will sing a different version of their national anthem from the first day of this year after Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a change to the words on Thursday.

The country’s national anthem will no longer refer to Australia as “young and free” in an attempt to reflect the country’s long indigenous history.

The announcement came as a surprise but welcomed across the government.

The Prime Minister said he hopes the change will create a “spirit of unity”.

People inhabited in the country for tens of thousands of years before it was colonised by mostly white English settlers in the 18th Century.

The line to be removed, which is called Advance Australia Fair, is “For we are young and free”, instead people will sing “For we are one and free.”

Earlier this year, New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian suggested the change in the national anthem, saying the current wording ignored Australia’s “proud First Nations culture”.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who is a conservative, saidd: “Changing ‘young and free’ to ‘one and free’ takes nothing away, but I believe it adds much.”

“It recognises the distance we have travelled as a nation. It recognises that our national story is drawn from more than 300 national ancestries and language groups and we are the most successful multicultural nation on earth,” he added.

He also said the change in the anthem celebrated the unity Australia formed during the coronavirus pandemic.

Anthony Albanese, the opposition leader, said that the country “should be proud of the fact that we have the oldest continuous civilisation on the planet right here with First Nations people”.

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