You now have another good reason among the many to vote no to all of this bloody nonsense. Not a word from a single one of these Aboriginal groups about the drought, towns going dry, no food and water for cattle or water to grow food, or mention of dams and electricity prices?
Three generations of the Ingrey family refuse to sing the national anthem.Chris Ingrey, the chief executive of the La Perouse Local Aboriginal Land Council, doesn’t sing it. Neither does his father or his 15-year-old son. “As an Aboriginal person, I have never felt connected to the version I was taught growing up,” he said.
Source: Fairfax Media
We are ‘one’, not ‘young’: Change to national anthem proposed
On Sunday, a new version of Advance Australia Fair will be sung by a massive Aboriginal choir at the Desert Song Festival in Alice Springs, the Northern Territory. It’s a fresh attempt to prompt a national conversation about how to make the anthem something that everyone can sing.
Mr Ingrey said any version that acknowledged Aboriginal peoples’ long-standing connection to the land should be welcomed by all.
Developed by a non-profit called the Recognition in Anthem Project, the new version makes a one-word change to the first verse to recognise that Aboriginal people have lived here for more than 60,000 years.
It replaces the word “young” with “one” so that the first two lines read: “Australians all let us rejoice/ For we are one, and free.”
Former Victorian Supreme Court judge Peter Vickery, QC, who founded the anthem project, said that this change replaces an “outmoded and hurtful word” with “one that sings of the unifying values at the core of the Australian spirit”.
Many Indigenous Australians want to sing the anthem, but as it exists, it doesn’t acknowledge their existence. “We surely cannot accept an anthem which Indigenous people find difficult, if not impossible to sing,” writes Mr Vickery. “Causing hurt has no place in our anthem. This is indefensible.”
The rest of the first verse is unchanged, recognising that it means a great deal to many Australians, he said.
A new second verse recognises the “first people of this land”, and a new third verse – using some lines from the existing second verse – conveys the spirit of modern Australia where we work together even when “all but hope is gone”.
Mr Vickery said the anthem can be made more inclusive without an expensive referendum or plebiscite. When the anthem was changed in 1984 because it made no reference to women, the then prime minister Bob Hawke used his executive powers to change “Australia’s sons” to “Australians all let us rejoice”.
Indigenous footballers Josh Addo-Carr, his Blues teammate Cody Walker and others were criticised as unpatriotic by some when they refused to sing the anthem.
Not everyone supports a change. The Minister for Indigenous Australians, Ken Wyatt, told The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald that the anthem was an important national symbol.
“Personally, I support the Australian national anthem and encourage all Australians to sing it with pride,” he said. He acknowledged “there are many diverse views on our national symbols and welcome conversations on how we celebrate our multicultural and shared history”.
Indigenous soprano Deborah Cheetham refused to sing the anthem at the 2015 AFL grand final although she knew it was an honour.
“Our national anthem tells us that we are young and free,” she said. “But it’s not true. Setting aside for a moment 70,000 years of Indigenous cultures, 114 years on from Federation and 227 years into colonisation, at the very least, those words don’t reflect who we are,” she wrote in The Conversation.
Martin Haskett, Recognition in Anthem Project
Members of the Central Australian Aboriginal choir, pictured last year, will sing a new version of the anthem on Sunday. It replaces the word “young” with the word “one” and adds a new verse that recognises 60,000 years of continued existence by Aboriginal Australians.
Mr Vickery’s heart was “more or less in the right place” she told The Sydney Morning Herald and Age.
But she continued to sing the “inclusive and beautifully written lyrics” written by Judith Durham with Mutti Mutti man Kutcha Edwards, and encouraged others to do so too.
Formed in 2017, the Recognition in Anthem Project group worked with Indigenous and non-Indigenous groups to develop a song that was easy to sing, and which everyone felt they could sing, said committee member Dr Martin Haskett.
Watching the rehearsals of the anthem by Indigenous singers has been very moving, he said. “When they sing for ‘60,000 years or more’, there is a strong thrust to it, it is very powerful.”
It wasn’t a competition between different versions, but about starting a public conversation about what’s in the anthem, and how it should change, he said.
Most people only know the words to the first verse, but the small change was very significant to those who find it hurtful.
“A change in a single word can make a big difference,” he said.