Shock poll result shows support for changing national anthem

Only a slight majority of YourLifeChoices members support keeping Advance Australia Fair.

Older Aussies not wedded to anthem

Last week, nine-year-old Harper Nielsen put the topic of the national anthem firmly on the agenda after she objected to standing and singing Advance Australia Fair at school on the grounds it ignores the country’s indigenous people.

Miss Nielsen’s decision sparked a bitter debate in the media, with Alan Jones and Mark Latham, in particular, firing barbs at the year-four student for being a ‘brat’ and saying she should be sent to a special school for students with behavioural problems.

The results of the YourLifeChoices Friday Flash Poll suggest that many YLC members agree that children should be forced to stand for the national anthem. Of the 2250 members who responded to the survey, 63 per cent agreed with forcing children to stand for the anthem, while 31 per cent agreed with the ‘young and free’ lyrics and supported the right for children to decide whether to stand or not for the anthem.

YLC members were split when it came to the topic of changing the anthem. Only 52 per cent of survey respondents thought the anthem shouldn’t change, with 43 per cent seeking a change and five per cent undecided.

However, when asked to vote for an appropriate national anthem, I Am Australian by The Seekers beat out Advance Australia Fair (45 per cent to 40 per cent), suggesting the current national anthem doesn’t enjoy universal support.

Of the other suggestions, I Still Call Australia Home managed five per cent support ahead of Australia Song (four per cent) and Waltzing Matilda (three per cent).

The following are the opinions of YourLifeChoices members and not necessarily those of the writer or publisher. Some have been edited for style and grammar purposes.

“If children have been taught the history of this country, they are quite capable of making up their own minds and I applaud this young lady. She is the kind of thinking, acting citizen this country so badly needs. On the good side, this may just spark the change we need to recognise the full diversity of this wonderful country. On the bad side, this child and her family will now be socially ostracised by many and have to put up with the real ugliness of trolls.” – Maggie

“I believe in breaking stupid and insulting rules. Imagine what it's like for a first Australian to have to sing ‘For we are young and free’? It'd be enough to make me gag on those silly and untrue words. It's like reinforcing the big lie of Terra Nullius, saying there were no people or history on this continent before white settlement/takeover. Saying that Aboriginal people are mere animals, part of the flora and fauna. This was said at the time because it meant the new colony wasn't obliged to make a formal treaty, because there were no people here to make a treaty with.” – Hoohoo

“No, we should not change our national anthem.” – Joy Anne

“All national anthems are a bit silly. Pompous, ridiculously over patriotic to the point where the words are almost meaningless. Waltzing Matilda is best. Great singalong chorus, passable storyline, and totally confusing to everyone in the world!” – Crowcrag

“The anthem is deficient and boring - it also ignores migrants from all parts of the world, not just indigenous Aussies, and the country is not Fair - that's a separate issue. So, yes, we should have a modified national anthem - none of the choices presented seem good, but one can take parts out of these options and maybe make a new one.” – George

“Anything is better than that lullaby we have now.” – Old Geezer

“Children should learn the anthem out of respect for our country. Why do we need to change everything?” – KB

“Why can’t everyone leave everything alone? Why do we need to change the flag, the anthem, Australia was the lucky country ONCE! Leave it alone!!!” – Kosmo

“I originally voted for Waltzing Matilda as at least it was a fun song, not deadly boring like what we got. Today I would vote for I Am Australian because it has a nice sound and a nice modern message.” – Dave R

I Am Australian is a great song - but not a national anthem. How many verses would we have to sing? Each verse is about something different - a wonderful song but I am not learning and standing for about five verses! Waltzing Matilda is by far the best song melodically and harmonically - but would need a new set of words. And let's be real, the three songs that really 'get' to you when you are overseas are Waltzing Matilda, I Am Australian, and I Still Call Australia Home. You only have to see Aussies overseas or mention that you are Aussie... and out comes Waltzing Matilda!” – Almost Midnight

“For me, the main problem with ‘Advance Australia Fair’ is that's a boring, funereal dirge. A secondary problem is that when it was written in the late 19th century Advance Australia Fair was intended to mean Advance Australia White - as in light-skinned, fair-skinned.” – Bob

“I stay with Advance Australia Fair. Actually didn't realise that it was written by a man by the name of McCormick which was my mother's maiden name.” – Shirboy

“I applaud this young lady for standing up for her beliefs. I ABSOLUTELY HATED singing God Save the Queen, and don't think much of "Advance Australia Fair" either. Bring on I Am Australian! It brings me to tears and is a worthy replacement!!!” - Simplelife

RELATED ARTICLES





    COMMENTS

    To make a comment, please register or login
    Jacka
    18th Sep 2018
    11:16am
    I agree with Kosmo, leave well enough alone stop changing things for the sake of Change haven't we stuffed up enough things over the years changing this once great country into what would be considered today a joke. A national anthem is just that a national anthem not a trendy pop song. It is there to be respected as is the country you live in. If you don't like either you know where the door is.Jacka
    Anonymous
    18th Sep 2018
    11:43am
    Bravo!
    patti
    18th Sep 2018
    11:35am
    I have never liked our current anthem. Nor did I like God Save the Queen. "We are Australian" is a great melody and the words are inclusive of all. Who says "girt by sea" anyway?

    18th Sep 2018
    11:43am
    I'm happy to stick with "Advance Australia Fair". Great words! Bugger the politically correct rent-a-crowd.
    Poppysmum
    18th Sep 2018
    11:45am
    "Fair" in the late 1800's meant "beautiful" or "pretty"....as in "fair maiden". Certainly didn't mean white-skinned or equal, as in "fair dinkum" which didn't come into use until the first world war. And as for "For those who come across the seas, we've boundless plains to share"....that's a bit of a joke now!
    moama jock
    18th Sep 2018
    11:49am
    Leave Australia Day as it is.It symbolizes our history like it or lump it and i like it.


    As regards to MABO Day Bunkum just another attempt to pour further money into the most heavily subsidized section of our community.

    moama jock
    The Black Fox
    18th Sep 2018
    12:04pm
    And I thought the Australian national anthem was The Star Spangled Banner. It might as well be given the way the US is leading us by the nose.
    Mad as Hell
    18th Sep 2018
    12:04pm
    Australia is not fair if you are a part pensioner thanks to the LNP and Greens changes to the Pensioner Assets Test.
    Happy with the present anthem, flag and Australia Day date.
    Feel free to disagree, it’s still a free country.
    maxchugg
    19th Sep 2018
    9:46am
    It is still a free country but there are those who are working on that and appear to be having considerable success.
    Triss
    18th Sep 2018
    12:07pm
    Bet not one of the people who want to change have even thought of reality.
    What’s it going to cost. How many palms are going to be thrust out, multiplying their normal charges by ten, for a chance at government money? How much unnecessary government advertising telling us what they’re doing? How many consultants employed at horrendous fees. Who will pay for it? The taxpayer, you and me. First engage brain vocal chords second ...if needed after engaging brain.
    Eddy
    18th Sep 2018
    10:15pm
    Another thing Triss, who owns the copyright to these potential NA's and will they and how much will they want to transfer the copyright to Australia. Since there is copyright on 'Happy Birthday' why not on these songs?
    Crowcrag
    18th Sep 2018
    12:31pm
    People should think before voting for an option. How on earth do you FORCE children to stand for the NA? What if they do not? Physically grab them by the hair to make them stand? Imagine the screaming fits, the effect on the other kids, the resentment building amongst them towards the anthem. And I would like to see our voters attempt this in a senior boys’ school!
    Jim
    18th Sep 2018
    1:06pm
    Do you really believe that the decision by this young child to not stand for the national anthem was all her own idea, it smells of adult interference, you have to wonder what their agenda is, I have never been in favour of using children to push their parents point of view, and I might be wrong but I believe that this is the case with this incident, how did the incident get so much air play, planned or not!
    Charlie
    19th Sep 2018
    8:55am
    There are punishments for not obeying school rules. If that doesn't work you get expelled and rightly so. Its part of the learning process..
    The defence of "you can't make me" is as old as the hills, but so is the reply of.. "but I can make you change your mind"
    maxchugg
    19th Sep 2018
    10:25am
    Do away with the disgusting revisions of history which have emerged in the last couple of decades and been remarkable in achieving their objective of destroying national pride.

    Josef Goebbels once said that if you repeat a lie often enough people will believe it, and that is exactly what has happened with our history. Little wonder that children have no respect for their country when they are subjected to an endless litany of lies about the past history of this nation.
    Jim
    18th Sep 2018
    12:43pm
    If you ask a loaded question you will get the answer you are seeking, it’s how must polls are conducted, this one was no different, if you look at the result most said leave the anthem as it is, but if you look at the headline you could be forgiven for thinking that the majority wanted to change the anthem, people will always find fault and misinterpret a topic no matter what it is, I can’t understand why some people want to change things because some others find a fault with whatever it is that they want to change, so what is the answer, do we change something because a minority or some with an agenda wants to change something and if that’s the case won’t there but just as many want to change it again if they don’t agree? Leave the anthem alone, leave the flag alone and stop pandering to minorities, encourage people to respect what we have.
    Rob B
    18th Sep 2018
    1:39pm
    If you don't stand for the Australian flag with pride, then what do you actually stand for????????? Get real people, what has happened to nationalistic pride? Could it be the fault of the country's leaders not being seen as role models the way they stab each other in the back for power? We need leaders like Churchill who inspired his nation to conquer those Nazis by getting the people together to fight a common enemy. Here we have the opposition party doing just that - opposing and not caring about the consequences for the country - it is all so very sad and disgusting
    Old Geezer
    18th Sep 2018
    1:49pm
    Each to his own. If you wish to stand do so if not don't. It is as simple as that.
    evelynne
    18th Sep 2018
    2:14pm
    This little 9yrs old girl need a good old mighty kick up the backside. If it is allowed that she can dictate not to stand up for our national anthem, that’s just teaches her not to respect authorities, our national anthem, her elders etc…, also I don’t believe that it would have come from her at that age, it was more than likely her parents teachings and prompting to do it. Look at the trouble we are having now with the young ones don’t respecting anything…. Why?? Because we let them! Give this little brat a good kick in a you know where to teach her that she is not going to dictate to teachers at her ripe old age of 9yrs! She does what she is told! And she should be taught to be a pride Australian, and as such, pride to be standing for our national anthem. As for our national anthem, why can’t we just leave it alone. Someone said (including this little kid) that it doesn’t mention aboriginals, someone else mentioned that it doesn’t mention all the other nations! For god sake, does the national anthem supposed to mention every nation we have in this country, or it is for ALL Australians! I am proud to call myself Australian and proud to stand for our anthem eventhough I have migrated to this country, not born here.
    Jim
    18th Sep 2018
    3:45pm
    I have just heard that this child and her parents who refused to stand for our national anthem is a migrant from South Africa, and a recent migrant at that, does anyone know if this is true?
    Jim
    18th Sep 2018
    4:09pm
    After further research it looks like the father has been in Australia since at least 2002, I can’t find any information on where he comes from, he is a psychologist that works mostly on children’s behaviour and on the interactions between children from different cultures and related racist attitudes of the white culture towards people from non white cultures.
    So as far as my previous comment goes I retract it completely.
    maxchugg
    19th Sep 2018
    10:29am
    I think he is an academic from one of our universities, Jim. Certainly sounds like it when the girl uses the term of "institutionalized racism" when reciting the speech which she made to defend her actions.
    Giles
    18th Sep 2018
    4:06pm
    The anthem and the brat are two totally different subjects. When I was at school we had to stand up when the headmaster entered our classroom. It was the rule regardless of how we felt about the man. We did it. She should do it too when the anthem is played.

    Yes, I don't like our present anthem, music or word, so I'd be delighted to see it changed. Changed or not I'll stand up when it's played, just as I did with the headmaster, who I hated.
    Ny19
    18th Sep 2018
    4:15pm
    I admire this brave little girl and agree with her critique of the anthem. I don’t admire Alan Jones, Mark Latham or any other adult who has attacked her though - I think it’s disgusting to attack a child. The little girl is showing more maturity than such adults.

    I have always disliked our anthem...it’s boring and doesn’t fit with modern day Australia. I would like it changed to a cut down version of “I Am Australian”.
    Jim
    18th Sep 2018
    5:46pm
    It’s your right to dislike the anthem, that’s what you get for living in a free country, as it is other people’s right to disagree with you, and that would also be the case if the anthem was changed to something you prefer, others would have the right to dislike your preferred anthem, so what would you suggest to get everyone to agree, we already had a vote on our national anthem and the current anthem was the one agreed to, do you suggest we change the anthem each time our cultural balance changes?
    Nan Norma
    18th Sep 2018
    5:56pm
    Teachers have enough trouble these days trying to control disobedient children without people such as Robi cheering them on. No wonder teachers are walking out.
    ph
    18th Sep 2018
    6:57pm
    Beds are Burning, Midnight Oil. That would be a perfect anthem for this country. I can only imagine to vitriol from all and sunder.
    Anonymous
    18th Sep 2018
    7:08pm
    How about Yothu Yindi's "Treaty"
    ph
    18th Sep 2018
    7:12pm
    Possibly a better choice, yes, thanks olbaid
    professori_au
    18th Sep 2018
    7:36pm
    I am not in total agreement about how the young lady should be reprimanded for her lack of courtesy to the people of the Commonwealth of Australia. Who is to blame? Perhaps her parents for not teaching her to respect her neighbours. The world does not revolve around one young person who has shown her lack of manners. She has a right to say what she does or does not believe but not at a function such as this. My children were taaught manners and courtesy but were encourgaged to debate issues they found did not agree with their developing ideas. However, what was not acceptable was to argue just for the sake of argument or showing how brave they were. Arguments needed to show their merits, otherwise they become useless. There many strong debates in our family and its extension but each person's views and rights were respected. Why cannot that happen today. NO Sadly most arguments are based on persona;l attacks instead of debate around the issue. Look at our parliaments. If as much time was spent on informed debate that is spent on vitriolic and nasty personal insults, perhaps we would have better government that governed in the interests of the public and not for the personal ego boost or for the benefit of vested interests.
    Anonymous
    18th Sep 2018
    7:40pm
    Zigheil Herr Professori
    Circum
    18th Sep 2018
    7:48pm
    Cant we just throw the brat over the side of the boat.No values no rights.
    maxchugg
    19th Sep 2018
    10:30am
    Don't blame the child, blame they system which has brainwashed her and change it.
    Charlie
    19th Sep 2018
    8:49am
    This is a load of garbage, the reason the child didn't stand up is (because she didn't understand how the words applied to her.)..Its quite normal for a 9 year child not the understand things like "girt by sea." in the Australian anthem, or variations of the English language she will learn in higher education.

    But can you imagine, what school would be like if 9 year olds refused to do anything where they didn't understand the reasoning. It would be completely unmanageable.

    Speaking of unmanageable we come to the example of running the country and being able to make decisions in order of priority. Firstly it is quite pathetic the extremes small minded activists will go, to put words into the mouth of child. Things she never said or even perceived...

    This kind of trivia only becomes acceptable when the government ministers set a bad example and start behaving like children and becoming obsessed with self interest.

    These unnecessary issues have been coming up in recent years and must be the result of desperate or immature minds because the focus seems to be, change only for the sake of change... At about the mind set of a grafitti artist we see, change Australia day, change the anthem, change the flag, hide our history.

    How about, change your underpants and invent some new technology Australia can be proud of