• Tuesday, Apr 20, 2021
  • Last Update : 10:39 pm

One and Free: Prominent Australian lawmaker urges change to national anthem

  • Published at 04:25 pm November 11th, 2020
New South Wales premier Gladys Berejiklian
File photo: New South Wales premier Gladys Berejiklian attends the Remembrance Day Service at Martin Place, in Sydney on November 11, 2020 Reuters

Australia has struggled for decades to reconcile with Aborigines, who arrived on the continent some 50,000 years before British colonists

Australia should change the lyrics of its national anthem to honour its indigenous people, the leader of the country's most populous state said on Wednesday, becoming one of the most prominent lawmakers to endorse such an alteration.

Australia's national anthem includes the line "we are young and free." But New South Wales state Premier Gladys Berejiklian said this should be changed to "we are one and free" as it fails to recognize that indigenous Australians are the oldest continued civilization in the world.

"I think it's about time we recognize the tens of thousands of years of the first nations people of this continent," Berejiklian told the Australian Broadcasting Corp television. "We're tens of thousands of years old when it comes to human inhabitants. It's just a small gesture."

Each year Australians have a national holiday on January 26, marking the date the "First Fleet" sailed into Sydney Harbour in 1788, carrying mainly convicts and troops from Britain. Some indigenous people refer to Australia Day as "Invasion Day."

Australia has struggled for decades to reconcile with Aborigines, who arrived on the continent some 50,000 years before British colonists, but the country has seen a renewed focus on Indigenous empowerment amid the Black Lives Matter movement.

Indigenous Australians, about 700,000 people in a population of nearly 26 million, have tracked near the bottom in almost every economic and social indicator.

"Whether we can become 'one' will depend on whether symbolic changes to the anthem are accompanied by practical change at the national level," said Anne Dennis, chairwoman of the New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council.

Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail