Ebene News – UA – ‘We are one and free’: Australian anthem must change to try to recognize Indigenous history

PM announces New Years Eve saying minor change will help foster’ spirit of unity ‘after tough 2020

Australian government to remove reference to ‘young and free’ country from national anthem, amid concerns current wording overlooks Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history stretching back tens of thousands years

Conservative Prime Minister Scott Morrison made the surprise announcement on New Years Eve, saying the change would help foster a “spirit of unity” after a year of great challenges

From January 1, the second line of Advance Australia Fair will say: “For we are one and free” This replaces the existing line: “For we are young and free”

The minimalist change was approved by Governor General David Hurley on the recommendation of the Morrison government

It picks up on an idea launched earlier this year by New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian, who said the current wording ignored Australia’s ‘proud First Nations culture’ and made some people feel excluded

Berejiklian’s proposal to change the wording to “one and free” has garnered support from all walks of life, including Indigenous Australian Federal Minister Ken Wyatt and even the leader of the right-wing One Nation party, Pauline Hanson

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese also backed the proposal, saying the country “should be proud of the fact that we have the oldest continuous civilization on the planet right here with First Nations people”

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In a statement released Thursday evening, Morrison said the change would take effect on January 1 and was “for all Australians”

“Over the past year we have once again shown the indomitable spirit of Australians and the united effort that has always enabled us to triumph as a nation,” said the Prime Minister

“It is time to ensure that this great unity is reflected more fully in our national anthem”

Morrison said that while Australia “as a modern nation may be relatively young,” the country’s history was ancient. He cited “the stories of the many First Nations people whom we rightly recognize and respect stewardship “

“In the spirit of unity, it is right that we make sure that our national anthem reflects this truth and this shared appreciation,” he said

In a speech apparent to some conservatives who may be wary of the change, Morrison stressed that the planned reformulation of the anthem was not drastic

“Changing” young and free “to” one and free “doesn’t take anything away, but I think it adds a lot,” he said

“He recognizes the distance we have come as a nation He recognizes that our national history is drawn from over 300 ancestors and national language groups and that we are the most successful multicultural nation in the world

“It reaffirms our determination as one of the oldest democracies in the world, while honoring the foundations on which our nation was built and the aspirations we share for the future”

It is understood that Morrison consulted with the Federal Cabinet, State Premiers, Speaker of the Lower House and Speaker of the Senate on the planned modification of the national anthem Hurley also informed state governors of the plans

The official Australian anthem was last changed under the Hawke government in 1984 from God Save the Queen to Advance Australia Fair, composed by Peter Dodds McCormick

The symbolic change comes at a time when Indigenous Australians still face significant obstacles to achieving equal opportunities

Indigenous men have an estimated life expectancy of 716 years, almost nine years shorter than their non-Indigenous peers, recent data shows

For Indigenous women, the life expectancy of 756 years is about eight years less than that of non-Indigenous women

In July, the Morrison government unveiled a new Closing the Gap deal that included a pledge to close the life expectancy gap by 2031

Morrison also pledged to share decision-making between government and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in priority areas such as housing, early childhood, and justice reform

But his government has disappointed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders by ruling out amending the constitution to enshrine the concept of an indigenous ‘voice in parliament’, as recommended by Uluru’s Heartfelt Declaration in 2017

Morrison previously likened the idea to a third chamber of parliament, following a controversial criticism his predecessor, Malcolm Turnbull, had used

Indigenous and legal experts rejected this characterization, stressing that a voice in Parliament would have no veto power and would not review every piece of legislation either

Morrison also sharply slammed those attending Black Lives Matter protests in Australian cities in June, complaining about “importing what is happening overseas into Australia”

Traditional owners were shocked by the decision of mining giant Rio Tinto to destroy 46,000-year-old caves in Juukan Gorge, Western Australia, in May 2020

The federation of Australia took place on January 1, 1901, but the Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders have lived on the continent for tens of thousands of years

Morrison’s predecessor, Turnbull, is among many who say that the British colonization of Australia in 1788 could rightly be described as an “invasion”

Scott Morrison, Advance Australia Fair, Nation, Anthem

Ebene News – UA – “We are one and free”: the Australian anthem must change to try to recognize the history native

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/dec/31/we-are-one-and-free-australian-anthem-to-change-in-attempt-to-recognise-indigenous-history