Australia changes the national anthem to recognize indigenous people

Australië wijzigt volkslied om Aboriginals te erkennen

The Australian government changed one of the words of the national hymn Thursday to better recognize the role, culture and history of Indigenous peoples. The second sentence of “Advance Australia Fair” – “Because we are young and free” – has been replaced by “Because we are one and free”. This was announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

He wrote in The Age on New Year’s Eve: “Australia is relatively young as a modern country, but the history of our country is as old as the history of the First Nations, which we recognize and respect.” The Prime Minister said that this change “does not remove anything, but adds something substantive” to the meaning of the text.

The change was rolled out earlier to better understand Australia’s Aboriginal history, which dates back tens of thousands of years, but the Conservative Party chief didn’t announce it until late Thursday night, hours before the start of the new year.

According to official statistics, indigenous children are twice as likely to die before the age of five as children from the rest of the population. More than 400 indigenous people have been killed in police arrests over the past 30 years.

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