Indigenous leader welcomes 'important change' to national anthem
From Friday, the second line of Australia's national anthem will change from, "For we are young and free" to "For we are one and free".
First Nations Foundation chairman and Yorta Yorta man Ian Hamm said the fresh line was an important symbol. "Symbolism is important, real action and change is important. If you do one or the other, you only get half the job done," he said.
"You do need symbolic change, you do need real change.
"This is an important indication to ourselves as a country as to what our expectations are going forward, and to recognise in our national anthem the continued human occupation of this continent from 60,000 years plus to 1 January 2021, and beyond, is an important change.
"We're very definitely not young."
A number of state and federal politicians from all sides of politics called for a change to the lyrics, with the most vocal support from NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian last year.
Mr Hamm said it was "a focal point for that discussion about who we are as a country".
"We should regard ourselves as a nation that's bonded, as opposed to being divided, and we should recognise our Indigenous history as part of our Australian history.
"'One and free' looks for what brings us together. I think it's a really good change."
Composer Deborah Cheetham is a Yorta Yorta woman and said the new wording was long overdue but changing the anthem "one word at a time is probably not the right way to go".
"It's an important acknowledgement. The word young has underestimated the lives that have lived on this continent for some millennia," the soprano and educator said.
"The recognition of all Australians now and the connection we have to the longest continuing culture in the world, that is what needs to be captured in our nation's anthem and I think one word at a time, I'm not sure that is the way to go about it really.
"What this change brings is an opportunity for conversation. And I hope it's a conversation that will be respectful."
Ms Cheetham said there had been "a lot of conjecture around Advance Australia Fair for a long time", not only because of the lyrics, but due to its large musical range which made it difficult for everyone to sing.
She said singer-songwriter Kutcha Edwards and The Seekers' singer Judith Durham's 2009 anthem, Lyric for a Contemporary Australia, was more appropriate.
Some of those lyrics include the words: "Australians let us all be one, with peace and harmony, Our precious water, soil and sun, grant life for you and me. Our land abounds in nature's gifts to love, respect and share, And honouring the Dreaming, advance Australia fair. With joyful hearts then let us sing, advance Australia fair."
It would be wonderful if sporting events included a stirring rendition of an anthem that spoke for every Australian, writes Richard Hinds.
"It is a beautiful lyric. It may be time for us to write something that captures the spirit of the nation, the strength of the nation and is inclusive of all people who strive and live and die as part of this nation," Ms Cheetham said.
With his trademark rhetorical question, "How good is Australia?", Mr Morrison said the country's anthem should reflect "who we will always hope to be and the values that we will always live by".
"We are a strong and vibrant liberal democracy. We live in a timeless land of ancient First Nations peoples, and we draw together the stories of more than 300 national ancestries and language groups," he said.
"It simply reflects the realities of how we understand our country. It's a change for all Australians, and I've already been encouraged by the strong response from Australians right across the country, Indigenous, non-Indigenous, people of all different backgrounds, people of all different political views.
"I think it's a great way to start the new year."
But federal Labor leader Anthony Albanese and Wiradjuri woman Linda Burney, the first Aboriginal woman to be elected to the House of Representatives, said more needed to be done.
Mark Latham unleashes stinging criticism on Aboriginal tribes for having NO IDEA what 'nationhood' meant as he slams decision to change the lyrics 'we are young and free' in Australia's national anthem
Mark Latham has hit out at the Prime Minister's decision to remove the line 'young and free' from the national anthem - arguing Aboriginal tribes didn't see themselves as a nation before colonisation.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the second line of Advance Australia Fair would be changed from 'for we are young and free' to 'for we are one and free' as of New Year's Day after critics argued the line was disrespectful to Aboriginal history.
He said the change was made to reflect the background of all Australians and the country's 'strong and vibrant liberal democracy'.
But the NSW One Nation Leader has lashed out at the move - claiming the change represents a 'hard 36 year habit to break'.
'I'm sure there will still be people who will be singing 'young and free', Mr Latham told A Current Affair. 'It's a hard habit to break, isn't it?'
The change comes after critics long claimed that describing Australia as a 'young nation' overlooks the fact Aboriginal people have lived on the continent for centuries.
Mr Latham said a national anthem has to 'reflect a nation' - a goal the one-word change fails to achieve.
'The indigenous tribes, 170 of them, weren’t a nation, they didn’t see themselves as a nation'.
'I find this notion that we call them "first nations" is an insult to them, because they never thought of themselves as a nation.'
The One Nation politician said the anthem had never excluded a part of Australian society in the first place.
'We are a young nation we were federated in 1901, 120 years ago today so we are a young nation', Mr Latham said.
'Before that we were a series of colonies who weren’t a nation, and before 1788 we had 170 indigenous tribes in Australia, they didn’t have a conceptualisation of nationhood', the One Nation leader said.
No more retiree tax: Anthony Albanese dumps franking credits policy
Anthony Albanese will formally dump the policy branded a retiree tax as he moves to put Labor Party members and politicians on an election-ready footing going into the new year.
The party has now established its national campaign committee, which will meet in the coming weeks to prepare for a possible early election in the second half of 2021.
The bid to abolish franking credit refunds for people who paid no tax, raising $6 billion a year, was held up in Labor's review of its 2019 election loss as emblematic of a complicated, high-spending agenda that left it open to simplified attacks from the Coalition and scared off its traditional base of lower income voters.
"I can confirm that Labor has heard that message clearly and that we will not be taking any changes to franking credits to the next election," Mr Albanese will tell party faithful from the neighbouring electorates of Dunkley, Bruce and Isaacs, in Melbourne's south-east, in a live-streamed speech on Saturday.
His address, which capped off a week in which he mailed every ALP member a booklet of speeches he delivered in 2020, is aimed at energising the party's base for an election.
Mr Albanese will ramp up his personal attacks on Prime Minister Scott Morrison, according to a draft version of the speech seen by this masthead, labelling him "a man who stands for nothing except advertising campaigns, selfies and favours for Liberal mates".
"When it comes to Scott Morrison, I think Australians have started to work him out anyway. They see him as fake. As someone who is always political and always looking to shift blame to others," he will say, while also cautioning Labor must do more than highlight deficiencies if it wants to win government.
"In 2021 we face a critical battle … The battle ahead will be one of values - whether people are held back and left behind."
The Labor leader takes credit for suggesting that wage subsidies, support for renters, a moratorium on evictions, paid pandemic leave, Medicare rebates for telehealth, and extra mental health care were appropriate policy responses during the coronavirus health and economic crises.
He promises the party's policy rollout will step up in coming months, with its platform to be formally settled at the national conference on March 30 and 31, and spruiks the childcare and train-building policies he announced in his October budget reply speech.
On climate policy, which has caused tensions within Labor's caucus in recent months, Mr Albanese will promise the party can be smart about its approach and lead Australia to "use the challenge as an opportunity to create new jobs and new industries".
Cooling in 2020
CO2 levels have continued to rise so where is the global warming?
2018 01 15 2018.0384 403.75 0.18 in situ
2018 02 15 2018.1233 403.81 0.15 in situ
2018 03 15 2018.2000 403.90 0.14 in situ
2018 04 15 2018.2849 404.16 0.17 in situ
2018 05 15 2018.3671 404.40 0.13 in situ
2018 06 15 2018.4521 404.67 0.16 in situ
2018 07 15 2018.5342 405.18 0.21 in situ
2018 08 15 2018.6192 405.65 0.13 in situ
2018 09 15 2018.7041 405.86 0.10 in situ
2018 10 15 2018.7863 405.91 0.16 in situ
2018 11 15 2018.8712 405.84 0.16 in situ
2018 12 15 2018.9534 405.75 0.13 in situ
2019 01 15 2019.0384 405.73 0.17 in situ
2019 02 15 2019.1233 405.66 0.14 in situ
2019 03 15 2019.2000 405.79 0.19 in situ
2019 04 15 2019.2849 406.20 0.17 in situ
2019 05 15 2019.3671 406.70 0.21 in situ
2019 06 15 2019.4521 407.23 0.21 in situ
2019 07 15 2019.5342 407.83 0.21 in situ
2019 08 15 2019.6192 408.33 0.16 in situ
2019 09 15 2019.7041 408.58 0.13 in situ
2019 10 15 2019.7863 408.73 0.11 in situ
2019 11 15 2019.8712 408.76 0.11 in situ
2019 12 15 2019.9534 408.52 0.17 in situ
2020 01 15 2020.0383 408.25 0.18 in situ
2020 02 15 2020.1229 408.32 0.16 in situ
2020 03 15 2020.2022 408.57 0.17 in situ
2020 04 15 2020.2869 408.80 0.13 in situ
2020 05 15 2020.3689 409.07 0.13 in situ
2020 06 15 2020.4536 409.49 0.18 in situ
2020 07 15 2020.5355 410.02 0.20 in situ
2020 08 15 2020.6202 410.47 0.16 in situ
2020 09 15 2020.7049 410.76 0.11 in situ
2020 10 15 2020.7869 410.85 0.13 in situ
2020 11 15 2020.8716 410.79 0.14 in situ
2020 saw a welcome shift to cooler and wetter conditions after the widespread drought of the past few years.
Last year's persistent drought-bringing climate, set up by a positive Indian Ocean Dipole, was replaced with neutral and eventually rain-encouraging La Niña conditions in September.
Despite a hiatus over spring, those conditions finally brought widespread rainfall to end 2020.
Many water stores have risen, but many have not filled to the extent we might have hoped for in a La Niña year … not yet.
There are still a few months of the summer wet season left.
Sydney's water stores are the big turnaround story of 2020. In January, the stores were at 44.9 per cent of capacity, their lowest point in the past five years.
Mean temperatures came in at 1.15 degree Celsius above the 1961-to-1990 average, well cooler than 2019, which was 1.52C above the average.
Overnight temperatures were also the fourth-highest on record using the Bureau of Meteorology's (BOM's) gridded dataset, which gives an average temperature for the country as a whole.
But maximum temperatures were less extreme than we have been accustomed to in recent years, coming in at the eighth-hottest on record, 1.24C above the 1961-to-1990 average.
Also see my other blogs. Main ones below:
http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM)
http://snorphty.blogspot.com (TONGUE TIED)
http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)
http://pcwatch.blogspot.com (POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH)
http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)
https://heofen.blogspot.com/ (MY OTHER BLOGS)