Well done and thanks to Premier Berejiklian and the Prime Minister for swapping ‘young’ for ‘one’ in the National Anthem. It’s closer to the truth, it’s symbolically important and it’s easy enough to do.
However changing an outdated, awkward set of lyrics, one word at a time, is probably not the right way to go, as Deborah Cheetham, Yorta Yorta woman, says. We agree that it’s time to ‘write something that captures the spirit of the nation’ – a spirit that celebrates the long history and continuous culture of First Nations people.
While we are at it, let’s also shift the Australia Day holiday to one more suited to celebration and, more importantly, act on the Uluru Statement from the Heart which makes these calls:
We seek constitutional reforms to empower our people and take a rightful place in our own country. When we have power over our destiny our children will flourish. They will walk in two worlds and their culture will be a gift to their country.
We call for the establishment of a First Nations Voice enshrined in the Constitution.
Makarrata is the culmination of our agenda: the coming together after a struggle. It captures our aspirations for a fair and truthful relationship with the people of Australia and a better future for our children based on justice and self-determination.
We seek a Makarrata Commission to supervise a process of agreement-making between governments and First Nations and truth-telling about our history.
See here for the full statement.