Advance Australia Fair - National Anthem amended

While the shell-shocked Australians woke up to the COVID-19 marred, horrid and scaled-down New Year Eve celebrations across Australia, they were delivered the news that the Australian national anthem – Advance Australia Fair – had been amended. The news has come as a surprise distraction from the coronavirus crisis engulfing New South Wales and spreading into Victoria.

The amendment has been made “in the spirit of unity’’ and now the second line of Advance Australia Fair will change from ‘For we are young and free’ to ‘For we are one and free”.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s office has announced that the new wording takes effect from today January 1. Governor-General David Hurley agreed to the change after the federal cabinet, state premiers and governors, Speaker of the House and the Senate president, all agreed to the proposed change.

Initially the suggestion was not universally welcomed and could still cause some people agony and earn criticism. Some politicians believed the change “unfairly seeks to tarnish our ancestors”.

Advance Australia Fair was first performed in 1878, composed by Peter Dodds McCormick.

Former Prime Minister Bob Hawke last recommended a modification of the national anthem (altering three lines and reducing it from four verses to two) to the governor-general in 1984.

It was adopted as the country’s national anthem on April 19, 1984, replacing God Save the Queen, which had been in place since the time of British settlement.

Also Read: Scott Morrison’s cabinet reshuffle to cap off 2020

God Save The Queen, is still played alongside the national anthem at public engagements attended by members of the royal family.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the unity shown by Australians over the past year should be reflected in the anthem.

“While Australia as a modern nation may be relatively young, our country’s story is ancient, as are the stories of the many First Nations peoples whose stewardship we rightly acknowledge and respect,” the PM Scott Morrison said.

“In the spirit of unity, it is only right that we ensure our national anthem reflects this truth and shared appreciation

“[One and Free] recognises the distance we have travelled as a nation.

“It recognises that our national story is drawn from more than 300 national ancestries and language groups and we are the most successful multicultural nation on Earth.

“It reaffirms our resolve as one of the world’s oldest democracies … and the aspirations we share for the future.”

Australia’s New Anthem

Australians all let us rejoice,
For we are one and free;
We’ve golden soil and wealth for toil;
Our home is girt by sea;
Our land abounds in nature’s gifts Of beauty rich and rare;
In history’s page, let every stage Advance Australia Fair.
In joyful strains then let us sing, Advance Australia Fair.

Beneath our radiant Southern Cross We’ll toil with hearts and hands;
To make this Commonwealth of ours Renowned of all the lands;
For those who’ve come across the seas We’ve boundless plains to share;
With courage let us all combine To Advance Australia Fair.
In joyful strains then let us sing, Advance Australia Fair.

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