Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced on New Year’s Eve saying the minor change will help foster a ‘spirit of unity’ after a challenging 2020.
They will remove a reference to the country being “young and free” in the national anthem, amid concerns the existing wording overlooks the history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people that stretches back tens of thousands of years.
From 1 January, the original line, “For we are young and free.” has now been changed to: “For we are one and free.”
The New South Wales premier, Gladys Berejiklian, proposal to change the wording to “one and free” won support from across the political spectrum, including from the federal minister for Indigenous Australians, Ken Wyatt, and even from the firebrand rightwing One Nation party leader, Pauline Hanson after he said it made some people feel excluded.
The Prime Minsiter said, “During the past year we have showed once again the indomitable spirit of Australians and the united effort that has always enabled us to prevail as a nation,”
“It is time to ensure this great unity is reflected more fully in our national anthem.”