Australia Tweaks Anthem to Recognize Indigenous History

The words “we are young and free” were changed to “we are one and free.” The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have lived on the continent for more than 60,000 years.

Until Friday, the song began: “Australians all let us rejoice, for we are young and free.” But as the country celebrated the beginning of the new year, the “young” was dropped. The anthem now describes the country as “one and free.”

“Australia as a modern nation may be relatively young, but our country’s story is ancient, as are the stories of the many First Nations peoples whose stewardship we rightly acknowledge and respect,” Mr. Morrison, who leads the Liberal Party, wrote in an opinion piece for The Sydney Morning Herald.

“In the spirit of unity, it is only right that we also now acknowledge this and ensure our national anthem reflects this truth and shared appreciation,” he added. “Changing ‘young and free’ to ‘one and free’ takes nothing away, but I believe it adds much.”

By Jacey Fortin, The New York Times

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