Victorian Supreme Court judge Peter Vickery has written an updated version of Advance Australia Fair, after leading a push to have Indigenous Australians and Torres Strait Islanders recognised in the national anthem.
The Australian Government has given the new version the go-ahead for the new version of the song to be sung as a patriotic song, but it is not an official anthem.
The updated version contains a new third verse which recognises indigenous history, mentioning Dreamtime, Uluru and respecting country, and the lyrics “we are young and free” have been changed to “in peace and harmony.”
The Recognition in Anthem Project is a personal project of Justice Vickery, who is also a poet, and he wrote to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to ask permission to make the changes for his campaign, and also plans to gather support from Australians.
He told News Corp that many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people find it hard to relate to the lyrics of the anthem.
“Many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people find the words ‘For we are young and free’ hurtful and offensive, and find it difficult – if not impossible – to stand or sing the anthem with these words,” he said.
“This situation needs to be put right and without delay. Our national anthem needs to be inclusive of all Australians and restored to what it always should have been: a truly inclusive national hymn.”
The Australian government owns the copyright to Advance Australia Fair.
This article first published on Starts at 60.