I think it’s about time we recognise the tens of thousands of years of the First Nations people of this continent. And it hurts me, I guess when you’ve been through a difficult year like we have, unity is so important.
Recognising all of our key parts of our society is critical, and I feel for Indigenous Australians who don’t feel the national anthem reflects them and their history.
And I think if we say, “We’re one and free”, it acknowledges that we’re not really young as a continent.
We’re tens of thousands of years old when it comes to human inhabitants. It’s just a small gesture. I think that respect is important. Inclusiveness is important.
When I was a child, I think it was “Australian sons let us rejoice”, and we joined it.
I don’t think that a lot of Indigenous communities will think that it goes far enough. But as a proud Australian who loves the anthem and is proud every time the anthem is sung, I think that it would better reflect us and our Indigenous history if we accept that we have the longest living culture on our continent through the Indigenous Australians, our First Nations people.
And I think it’s about time that we start recognising that in all of our national symbols and all of our national ways in which we represent ourselves.
And in fact, I think it will make us more Australian because we’re acknowledging all of our history. And today is Remembrance Day, and I want to acknowledge our service men and women – our veterans, who have made our nation what it is. And it is all of these elements which come together as one, which really reflecks who we are.
I’ve been mulling over this for a while. It’s not the kind of issue that I normally speak out on. But when you’ve had a difficult year and see the resilience and strength of our people, we’re capable of so much more.
We have so much potential and I don’t want to see us miss any opportunity to see us stronger as a nation and even stronger as a people.