Thursday 13 September 2018


Out of the mouths of babes


“Australians all let us rejoice

for we are young and free”.

-Excerpt from Advance Australia Fair, the national anthem of Australia. 

If the video won’t open, please click the link below it.

Advance Australia Fair with lyrics:

Isaiah 11:6 New King James Version (NKJV)

“The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb,
The leopard shall lie down with the young goat,
The calf and the young lion and the fatling together;
And a little child shall lead them.”

Excerpt from The Bible

Yet again, children are telling us what we should have fixed years ago. They are not clouded by prejudice and vested interest, they just see the truth, quite clearly. As Harper Nielsen age 9 said, Australia’s national anthem is racist. It was written in a racist age, and times have moved on. 

The words need to be changed to reflect that indigenous Australians were here for around 50,000 years before the white people came. Not to mention that the rocks on which Australia is situated are more than 3000 million years old! Australia is a vast, ancient land. We toured around in Central Australia, and in places like Kings Canyon, which is 440 million years old, and aboriginals consider a sacred space, there are species of plants, like cycads, that were there at the time of the dinosaurs! 

Macrozamia macdonnellii

Mark Marathon, Creative Commons.

Uluru, a place that is also sacred to the aboriginals, is over 500 million years old:

Mark Andrews, Creative commons.

Solid Rock:

Down here in Victoria, you can travel to The Grampians , Hanging Rock at Woodend, Inverloch fossil site, or lots of other places to see our ancient land. I have been to most of them, Hanging Rock  is over 6 million years old and also sacred to the indigenous people , as they celebrated all kinds of ceremonies there for over 20,000 years. When you climb up it, it is just like this, but much more monolithic and very spooky:

“Picnic at Hanging Rock” climbing scene:

“American film critic Roger Ebert” .......called Picnic at Hanging Rock “haunting” and .........”remarked that it "employs two of the hallmarks of modern Australian films: beautiful cinematography and stories about the chasm between settlers from Europe and the mysteries of their ancient new home." “ -Wikipedia.

Me (at left) on Hanging Rock in the 1980s:

Photo copyright Paul.

Photo copyright Paul.

I have even seen very old aboriginal rock paintings on a walk in outer Sydney!

I recommend that instead of “we are young and free” , the words of our anthem be changed to “we are strong and free”. That’s not hard for people to learn.

Indigenous Australians don’t much like our national anthem, so let’s change it to stop excluding them. In the great Australian tradition of calling a spade a spade, Harper Nielsen is telling it how it is. Good on her. 

Harper Nielsen story:

Watch the video on here and hear Harper speak:

BBC covers it:

The full lyrics of Advance Australia Fair are even more out of date!

Alternative lyrics are written by a Supreme Court judge:

Lyrics of Solid Rock:

“Picnic at Hanging Rock”:

Ancient Australia evidence:

I also covered this National anthem topic in January 2018.

Please feel free to leave comments below.


Jeanie said...

Very interesting, Cath. And you are right, especially in terms of the indigenous peoples being there for so many years before the colonists came. I agree -- it's time for a new anthem, or at least, new lyrics.

Running on empty said...

Thankyou so much for your thoughts, Jeanie. Australia is way behind in our treatment of the indigenous people here. Just today I was asked to write to a minister of resources , mining and energy, about a state government removing native title to an aboriginal nation, so that an Indian company, Adani, can mine coal on their lands. Unconscionable.

Running on empty said...

Another aspect of this debate: