Australian government amends National Anthem to honour indigenous people
The first line of the anthem, “Australians all let us rejoice, for we are young and free”, will now be ending with “one and free”.
The Prime Minister of Australia Scott Morrison informed on December 31, 2020, that the country brought in the New Year in a different way by tweaking their National Anthem ‘Advance Australia Fair’ in order to recognize the nation’s indigenous communities and history. The change in the anthem took effect on January 1, 2021.
The first line of the anthem, “Australians all let us rejoice, for we are young and free”, will now be ending with “one and free”. The change in the anthem reflects the spirit of unity and Australia’s Indigenous population. The National Anthem ‘Advance Australia Fair’ was composed by Peter Dodds McCormick. It was first performed in 1878 and was later adopted as the National Anthem in 1984.
Happy New Year Australia, because we are one and free! 🇦🇺— Scott Morrison (@ScottMorrisonMP) December 31, 2020
Prime Minister on the change in the anthem:
According to the Prime Minister, it is time to ensure that the great unity in the country is reflected more fully in the National Anthem as Australia was the most successful multicultural nation in the world.
He added that Australia as a modern nation may be young but its story is ancient, as are the stories of many First Nations Peoples whose stewardship we respect and acknowledge. He added that in the spirit of unity, it is rightful that the national anthem of Australia represents this truth and appreciation.
Minister of indigenous Australians extends his support:
Ken Wyatt, the Minister of the Indigenous Australians informed that he had been asked and consulted about the change in the anthem and he had decided to give his complete support.
The first indigenous Australian who was elected to the federal Parliaments lower house added that the one-word change was small in nature but has greater significance. He mentioned that the change is an admission of the fact that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures go back to 65,000 years.
The change in the anthem came less than two months after Gladys Berejiklian, New South Wales State Premier, extended support for the indigenous Australians who mentioned that the National Anthem of the country did not reflect them and their history.
Criticism of the change:
Megan Davis, the Law Professor from the University of South Wales, criticized the absence of consultation with the indigenous people of Australia about the change in the anthem. She mentioned that this is a disappointing way to end 2020 and to start 2021. She further added ‘Everything about us, without us’.