Australians will sing a different version of their national anthem from January 1 after Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a change to the words.
The anthem will no longer refer to Australia as “young and free” – in an attempt to reflect the country’s long indigenous history. The announcement was a surprise but welcomed across the government.
Mr. Morrison said the change celebrated the unity Australia formed during the COVID-19 pandemic and he hopes the change will create a “spirit of unity.”
People inhabited Australia for tens of thousands of years before it was colonized by mostly white English settlers in the 18th Century.
The line to be removed in the anthem, which is called Advance Australia Fair, is “For we are young and free.” Instead people will sing “For we are one and free.”
Last year, the leader of the New South Wales state suggested the change, saying the current wording ignored Australia’s “proud First Nations culture.”