Politician Suggests Changing One Word In Australia's National Anthem To Prevent Boycotts
Eyebrows were raised when rugby league star Cody Walker announced he wasn't going to sing the Australian national anthem at the first State of Origin match.
While some thought it was an isolated, solo endeavour, 10 players refused to sing last night at Suncorp Stadium.
As a result, there's a call to alter 'Advance Australia Fair' just a tiny bit to be more inclusive of everyone.
The calls for change seem to focus on the second line in the song, which says 'For we are young and free'. Saying that Australia is 'young' is a slap in the face to Indigenous Aussies who have been living on the land for a good 60,000 years, says campaigners.
Liberal MP Craig Kelly has told the ABC he reckons there would be lots of people who would support changing the one word to make it relevant to everyone.
"These words of our national anthem are not something carved in stone," he told AM.
"Let's simply change one word in the national anthem so in the future there is no excuse for anyone not to sing"- Sunrise (@sunriseon7) June 5, 2019
Liberal @CraigKellyMP weighs in after multiple #Origin players refused to sing Advance Australia Fair. pic.twitter.com/qEjtI3q16C
"If these gentlemen said [they] would be happy to sing the national anthem with changing that one word, I think a lot of Australians would sit down and they would say, OK let's change that word.
"Let's sing, 'We are strong and free' and let's all get on and make sure we are, as the anthem says, Australians all."
While Mr Kelly thinks it would have the support of many Aussies, a poll done by Sunrise shows an overwhelming swing in the opposite direction.
After more than 40,000 votes, 79 percent of people want it kept the same.
Labor's Tanya Plibersek backs the proposal, who wrote on Twitter: "I love singing the national anthem, and I sing it with pride. But if we can make a small change to recognise our country's incredible 60,000 plus years of continuous culture, then let's just do it."
'Advance Australia Fair' has been around since 1878 but was only installed as the country's national anthem in the 1980s after a plebiscite was taken to see whether people wanted to get rid of 'God Save The Queen'.
But switching up the words isn't new.
The original lyrics used to say 'Australia's sons let us rejoice', but that was changed to make it 'Australians all let us rejoice' to make it more gender inclusive.
It's doubtful that the anthem will change any time soon if that Sunrise poll is anything to go off.
Featured Image Credit: PA