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Is it time to change the national anthem?

A not-for-profit group has written new verses of our national anthem in order to make it more inclusive.

Recognition in Anthem Project (RAP) want to achieve “recognition of Australian values and our First Peoples in the Australian National Anthem.” Along with the two new verses, they also want to see “we are young and free” changed to “we are one and free“. Read the full lyrics here.

Peter Vickery, the writer of the second and third verses of “Advance Australia Fair II” and founding member of RAP told Oliver Peterson that Aboriginal people find it difficult to sing the anthem in it’s current form.

“It can be easily changed and rectified by changing ‘young’ to ‘one’.

“It introduces the concept of our core values that we find unity in and it’s a much more positive word.”

It was only 35 years ago that the anthem was changed to be inclusive of women. From 1878 the line was “Australia’s sons let us rejoice” and in 1984 it was changed to “Australians all let us rejoice”. Mr Vickery says not only was the anthem male-centric it was also mostly British-centric.


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Oliver Peterson