Australia changes one word in national anthem in ‘spirit of unity’

Flag of Australia
Flag of Australia

dpa/GNA – A single word has been changed in the Australia’s national anthem to make the song more inclusive and reflect the 60,000-year history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

As of Friday the lyrics have been changed from “we are young and free” to “we are one and free.”

“While Australia as a modern nation may be relatively young, our country’s story is ancient, as are the stories of the many First Nations peoples whose stewardship we rightly acknowledge and respect,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in a statement cited by AAP news agency.

“In the spirit of unity, it is only right that we ensure our National Anthem reflects this truth and shared appreciation.”

The change comes less than two months after NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian expressed empathy for Indigenous Australians who said the national anthem didn’t reflect them and their history.

Advance Australia Fair was composed by Peter Dodds McCormick and adopted as the national anthem in 1984.

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