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Australia’s national anthem tweak is inclusive of the aboriginals2 min read

January 3, 2021 2 min read

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Australia’s national anthem tweak is inclusive of the aboriginals2 min read

Reading Time: 2 minutes

From January 1 onwards, the people of Australia will be singing a different version of their national anthem. Well, not entirely different, but with a small, yet significant tweak.

Marsupials like kangaroos, koalas and wombats are native to Australia. Photo: ConsultANZ

Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced on December 31 that their anthem ‘Advance Australia Fair’ will be slightly altered so as to recognise the nation’s indigenous communities and history.

Owliver’s Obscure Facts

According to the United Nations, indigenous peoples are inheritors and practitioners of unique cultures and ways of relating to people and the environment. They have retained social, cultural, economic and political characteristics that are distinct from those of the dominant societies in which they live.

The first line of the anthem, “Australians all let us rejoice, for we are young and free”, will now end with “one and free”. The change in the anthem reflects the spirit of unity and Australia’s Indigenous population. The move, though a surprise, was welcomed by everyone in government. The anthem was composed by Peter Dodds McCormick, and was officially adopted as the national anthem in 1984.

Prime Minister Morrison said it was time to ensure that unity is reflected in the country. He added that Australia as a modern nation may be young, but its story is ancient. He said that in the spirit of unity, it is rightful that the national anthem of Australia represents this truth and appreciation.

Ken Wyatt, the Minister of the Indigenous Australians was consulted about the change in the anthem and he gave his complete support.

First people of Australia

The Aboriginals are said to be the first people to live in
Australia. Photo: Anthropology.net

Australia’s first people — known as Aboriginal Australians — have lived on the continent for over 50,000 years. Aboriginal Australians are split into two groups – Aboriginal peoples, who are related to those who already inhabited Australia when Britain began colonizing the island in 1788, and Torres Strait Islander peoples, who descend from residents of the Torres Strait Islands, a group of islands that is part of modern-day Queensland, Australia.

Watch this short animated video on the history of Australia and its people.

Sources: BBC.com, Jagran Josh, National Geographic