Anthem a vessel for change

Leading Seaman Tracy Kennedy is proud to provide vocals on the new recording of Advance Australia Fair. Photo: Sergeant Christopher Dickson

Anthem a vessel for change

The Royal Australian Navy Band has recorded a new rendition of the Australian National Anthem featuring the new lyric, announced earlier this year. 

On New Year’s Eve, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced an alteration to one of the lyrics in Advance Australia Fair, from ‘we are young and free’ to ‘we are one and free’.

Mr Morrison said the change to the song, adopted as our national anthem in 1984, was made to recognise our timeless land of ancient First Nations peoples.

Navy Band had the pleasure of recording the new version, which was used at official Australia Day events across the country.

It will also be used for Home Affairs purposes, ADF ceremonial, citizenship ceremonies, school assemblies and other significant occasions. 

Leading Seaman Musician Tracy Kennedy said she was proud to have provided vocals on the new recording.

“When I sing the Australian National Anthem I always feel a great sense of pride and honour, especially when everyone sings along with me,” Leading Seaman Kennedy said.

“I think changing the word from young to one makes our anthem more inclusive. It celebrates how culturally diverse our country really is and brings us together as a nation.”

First Nations Foundation chairman and Yorta Yorta man Ian Hamm said the change was an important step in setting expectations for the future.

“This is an important indication to ourselves as a country about what our expectations are going forward,” Mr Hamm said.

“To recognise in our national anthem the continued human occupation of this continent from 60,000 years plus to January 1, 2021, and beyond, is an important change.”

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