Otago Daily Times

Change to Australian anthem mooted


SYDNEY: Australia should change the lyrics of its national anthem to honour its indigenous people, New South Wales state Premier Gladys Berejiklia­n said yesterday, becoming one of the most prominent politician­s to endorse such an alteration.

Australia’s anthem includes the line ‘‘we are young and free’’. Berejiklia­n said this should be changed to ‘‘we are one and free’’ as it failed to recognise that indigenous Australian­s were the oldest continued civilisati­on in the world.

‘‘I think it’s about time we recognise the tens of thousands of years of the first nations people of this continent,’’ she told ABC television. ‘‘We’re tens of thousands of years old when it comes to human inhabitant­s. It’s just a small gesture.’’

Australian­s mark January 26 as Australia Day, on the date the First Fleet sailed into Sydney Harbour in 1788.

Some indigenous people refer to Australia Day as ‘‘Invasion Day’’. — Reuters

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