On 31 December 2020, Prime Minister of Australia Scott Morrison informed that the country has brought its national anthem ‘Advance Australia Fair’ in a new form to recognize the country’s indigenous communities and history. This change has been implemented in the national anthem on 01 January 2021.
The first line of the national anthem, “Let all Australians rejoice, because we are young and free”, will now end with “one more free”. This change in the national anthem reflects the unity of Australia and the spirit of the indigenous population. The national anthem ‘Advanced Australia Fair’ was composed by Peter Dodds McCormick. It was first performed in the year 1878 and later adopted as the national anthem in the year 1984.
According to the Prime Minister, it is time to ensure that great unity in the country is being fully reflected in the national anthem as Australia was already the most successful multicultural nation in the world.
This change has been made to the national anthem, less than two months after the new South Wales state premier, Gladys Berezikklian, came to power, voicing her support for indigenous Australians. The indigenous people had mentioned that the country’s national anthem did not reflect them and their history.
Megan Davis, a law professor at the University of South Wales, has criticized this change for not consulting with the indigenous people of Australia about this change in the national anthem. He has mentioned that, this is a disappointing way to start the year 2020 and the year 2021.