Non-profit group Recognition in Anthem is pushing for the Australian national anthem to be rewritten to acknowledge indigenous history.

The group is proposing a new second verse titled ‘Our People’ and a third verse ‘Our Values’.

This isn’t the first time the group has pushed to change the anthem. On January 1st this year, the group managed to make a one-word change to the lyrics, replacing the line “we are young and free” to “we are one and free”.

Olympian Cathy Freeman is backing the move, and while she was instrumental in the one word change, she now wants to “finish the job”.

Chairman Peter Vickery QC has reiterated that their request is simple – “to make the song whole and finish the job that we started”.

Recognition in Anthem was formed alongside Wiradjuri Elder Aunty Sue Bulger after indigenous singer Deborah Cheetham refused to sing the national anthem at the 2015 AFL Grand Final.

She has said the new verses “would mean that we could truly celebrate our anthem because it would include us, the First Nations people, and the special places that are around Australia”.

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CURRENT LYRICS:

Australians all let us rejoice

For we are one and free

We’ve golden soil and wealth for toil

Our home is girt by sea

Our land abounds in nature’s gifts

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Of beauty, rich and rare

In history’s page let every stage

Advance Australia fair

In joyful strains then let us sing

Advance Australia fair

Beneath our radiant Southern Cross

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We’ll toil with hearts and hands

To make this Commonwealth of ours

Renowned of all the lands

For those who’ve across the seas

We’ve boundless plains to share

With courage let us all combine

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To advance Australia fair

In joyful strains then let us sing

Advance Australia fair.

 

RECOGNITION IN ANTHEM PROPOSED SECOND AND THIRD VERSES:

Verse 2 – Our People

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For sixty thousand years and more

First peoples of this land

Sustained by Country, Dreaming told

By song and artist’s hand.

Unite our cultures from afar

In peace with those first here

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To walk together on this soil

Respect for all grows there.

From everywhere on Earth we sing, Advance Australia Fair.

 

Verse 3 – Our Values

In times of drought and flood and fire

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When all but hope is gone

Australians join with helping hands

And wattle blooms again.

Tomorrow may this timeless land

Live for our young to share

From red-rock heart to sun-filled shore

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Our country free and fair.

Beneath the Southern Cross we sing, Advance Australia Fair.

Beneath the Southern Cross we sing, Advance Australia Fair.

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