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Calls Grow To Change The Lyrics Of Australia's National Anthem

Stewart Perrie

Published 

Calls Grow To Change The Lyrics Of Australia's National Anthem

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

There are renewed calls to add a few lines to Australian's national anthem.

'Advance Australia Fair' went through a tiny but important alteration at the start of this year and now campaigners believe there's more to be said.

Not-for-profit group Recognition in Anthem believes adding two new verses, called 'Our People' and 'Our Values', to the anthem will help it become more inclusive.

Their vision would have the first verse remain the same, switch up the second to have a greater focus on Indigenous people and create a third where we could 'celebrate our people' and remind everyone to 'embrace Australia's multicultural society'.

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

Recognition in Anthem chairperson Peter Vickery told the Sydney Morning Herald: "Our quest is quite simple - to make the song whole and finish the job that we started, including verse two, which talks about our peoples, and verse three, which talks about our values."

The idea has the backing of Olympic icon Cathy Freeman and the late former prime minister Bob Hawke used to be a patron of he group.

Wiradjuri elder, Aunty Sue Bulger, helped Peter form the Recognition in Anthem and she reckons switching up the anthem could pay massive dividends.

"[The change last year] was a very small first step for us," she said. "[The new verses] would mean that we could truly celebrate our anthem because it would include us, the First Nations people, and the special places that are around Australia."

It's worth pointing out that Australia's national anthem has gone through a bunch of changes in its history.

The line 'Australia's sons' was changed to 'Australians all' and the verse that featured lines like 'Gallant Cook' and 'Britannia rules the wave' was replaced with 'Beneath the radiant Southern Cross'.

More recently, the government approved a change that kicked into gear at the start of 2021 that saw 'young and free' changed to 'one and free'.

This change was brought in to reflect the idea that Australia has been inhabited for tens of thousands of years and it was insensitive to claim that we were a 'young' country.

Peter Vickery said: "It's not really entrenched in our psyche.

"The national anthem has had a remarkable facility of change and adaptation - it even talks about advancing Australia; that is adopting and embracing change, rather than being stuck in the mud."

Topics: Australia

Stewart Perrie
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