Melbourne students pushed to sing alternative Australian anthem

An alternative Indigenous national anthem at a primary school has drawn outrage from parents and community leaders.

Melbourne students pushed to sing alternative Australian anthem
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Primary school students in Melbourne’s west have been performing a different version of the Australian national anthem, causing controversy among parents and community leaders.

Yarraville West Primary School has incorporated the alternative anthem, developed by the Dulwich Centre, into its assemblies for the past six months.

While the tune remains the same, the lyrics have been altered to reflect themes of "unity and respect for Indigenous heritage." The anthem begins with: “Australia, celebrate as one, with peace and harmony.”

The revised lyrics include: “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. Australia, let us stand as one, upon this sacred land.”

However, some families are upset that their children are singing this version instead of the official national anthem, voicing concerns that it is confusing for the students.

Parents have reported that their children are unable to sing the national anthem at sporting events

“It’s important that children learn the correct anthem,” one parent said. “They should be proud of being Australian and confusing them … is not the answer.”

Judith Durham previously expressed her hope that the new lyrics would serve as “an inspiring unifying force.” On the other hand, Daniel Wild, deputy executive director of the Institute of Public Affairs, criticised the alternative anthem as “an appalling example of activism and division being forced upon our students.”

Wild emphasised that the national anthem is meant to unite all Australians, and called for immediate action from the Premier to address the issue.

A spokesman from the Education Department confirmed that they are working with the school’s leadership to ensure the proper use of the national anthem in school events.

This incident follows recent debates over the Australian curriculum, including accusations that childcare centres are promoting cultural and environmental activism and that the VCE English reading lists are heavily focused on radical identity politics.

Controversial alternative anthem lyrics

Australia, celebrate as 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.

Australia, let us stand as one, upon this sacred land;

A new day dawns, we’re moving on to trust and understand;

Combine our ancient history and cultures everywhere;

To bond together for all time, advance Australia fair;

With joyful hearts then let us sing, advance Australia fair.

Australia, let us strive as one, to work with willing hands;

Our Southern Cross will guide us on, as friends with other lands;

While we embrace tomorrow’s world with courage, truth and care;

And all our actions prove the words, advance Australia fair;

With joyful hearts then let us sing, advance Australia fair.

And when this special land of ours is in our children’s care;

From shore to shore forever more, advance Australia fair;

With joyful hearts then let us sing, advance . . Australia . . fair.

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