14th Sep 2018
Friday Flash Poll: Is it time to change our national anthem?
Friday Flash Poll: Is it time to change our national anthem?

One of the bigger news stories this week was the young girl in Queensland who refused to stand up for the national anthem – Advance Australia Fair – on the grounds that she thought it was not inclusive of indigenous Australians.

The nine-year-old schoolgirl, Harper Nielsen, decided to protest the national anthem during a school assembly and when she refused to stand she was told to do so or leave the building.

As punishment, she received a lunchtime detention, and was told she needed to sign a written apology, or she would risk suspension.

But the story didn’t end there. Young 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.

Pauline Hanson also joined in the fray, threatening the young student with a ‘kick up the backside’ for her decision to make a stand against what she thought was unjust.

The hosts of Today had differing views on the girl’s protest. Karl Stefanovic blamed Miss Nielsen’s parents for supporting her in a way he didn’t think was appropriate, while his co-host, Georgie Gardner applauded her strength and character and for actually considering the words and meaning behind the anthem, instead of mindlessly “rattling it off”.

Controversial Guardian columnist Van Badham defended Miss Nielsen, saying that she was brave to stand up for what she believed in and accusing her detractors of “being so threatened by non-conformism” that they would “bully a child”.

The resulting furore has sparked a bitter debate in the media and the Australian public, with many saying Miss Nielsen should abide by school rules and that she should show more respect for the anthem and her country, while others believe she was right to stand up for her beliefs and that, maybe, it is time we reviewed the national anthem and put one in place that is more inclusive of all Australians and more accurately reflective of our history.

Advance Australia Fair was penned in 1878 by Scottish-born Peter Dodds McCormick. It replaced God Save the Queen as our national anthem in 1984, after a plebiscite to choose a new anthem was carried out in 1977.

Many of you would have voted in that plebiscite and today, we are asking you to participate in a mini plebiscite of sorts. Back in ‘77, the choices for a new anthem were God Save the Queen, Advance Australia Fair, Waltzing Matilda, and Australia Song.

The results of that plebiscite were:

  • God Save the Queen (18.78 per cent)
  • Advance Australia Fair (43.29 per cent)
  • Waltzing Matilda (28.28 per cent)
  • Australia Song (9.65 per cent)

Many believe that I Am Australian by The Seekers would be a suitable replacement and reading the lyrics, it’s difficult to argue that it isn’t more inclusive and an accurate representation of our past:

I came from the dream-time
From the dusty red-soil plains
I am the ancient heart
The keeper of the flame
I stood upon the rocky shores
I watched the tall ships come
For forty thousand years I’ve been
The first Australian

I came upon the prison ship
Bowed down by iron chains
I bought the land, endured the lash
And waited for the rains
I’m a settler, I’m a farmer’s wife
On a dry and barren run
A convict, then a free man
I became Australian

I’m the daughter of a digger
Who sought the mother lode
The girl became a woman
On the long and dusty road
I’m a child of the Depression
I saw the good times come
I’m a bushie, I’m a battler
I am Australian

We are one, but we are many
And from all the lands on earth we come
We’ll share a dream and sing with one voice
“I am, you are, we are Australian”

I’m a teller of stories
I’m a singer of songs
I am Albert Namatjira
And I paint the ghostly gums
I’m Clancy on his horse
I’m Ned Kelly on the run
I’m the one who waltzed Matilda
I am Australian

I’m the hot wind from the desert
I’m the black soil of the plains
I’m the mountains and the valleys
I’m the drought and flooding rains
I am the rock, I am the sky
The rivers when they run
The spirit of this great land
I am Australian

We are one, but we are many
And from all the lands on earth we come
We’ll share a dream and sing with one voice
“I am, you are, we are Australian”

We are one, but we are many
And from all the lands on earth we come
We’ll share a dream and sing with one voice
“I am, you are, we are Australian”

“I am, you are, we are Australian”

Others say Peter Allen’s I Still Call Australia Home would suit. Many would prefer to stick with the one we have, and others have their own suggestions.

So, which one would you prefer?

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Do you think it’s time to change the anthem? If not, why not? If you voted in the 1977 plebiscite, which anthem did you select? Do you think Miss Nielsen was brave or disobedient? Would you prefer our children follow blindly or question authority in a healthy and informed way?

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    COMMENTS

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    Oars
    14th Sep 2018
    10:30am
    This kid is too young to fully understand the real meaning of the song. Perhaps her parents have a problem bullying her into thinking that way. Maybe they shouyld have a reality check. Just a thought .!!!!
    Old Geezer
    14th Sep 2018
    11:18am
    My kids didn't have to stand for it if they didn't want to either. I remember singing God Save the Queen myself but the words were certainly not what our teachers wanted to hear.
    Maggie
    14th Sep 2018
    12:09pm
    You do not give enough credit to children. If they 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.
    Old Geezer
    14th Sep 2018
    12:17pm
    I admire anyone that speaks up instead of just towing the line. We need more people to speak up so that we can make the world a better place and not live in yesterday's world.
    Rosret
    14th Sep 2018
    12:43pm
    No Maggie, at school we adhere to the rules.
    Schools are are non political, non profit organisations. The moment you let one child flaunt the respect of the nation then its behaviour, attendance, uniform, examinations etc etc.
    As a society we have a moral code, expectations and rules. I don't like all of them but I obey them because in a democracy the people voted and a decision was made.
    She is a disobedient child that was egged on by her father. Totally inappropriate behaviour given that immediately before they would have given the oath of respect to the owners of the land and in a religious school they would have said a prayer.
    MICK
    14th Sep 2018
    12:45pm
    Seriously, are there not more important issues in the world than this?
    The reality of life is that the WORLD is moving away from the nationalism and self interest which has for centuries dominated us all.
    Let's not let this sort of BS take our eye off the main game in town: A CHANGE IN GOVERNMENT. This is priority number one to get this country working for all rather than the few who have for so long looked after their own financial interests and sold us all out in the process. The flag is a diversion! Ignore it.
    Rosret
    14th Sep 2018
    12:50pm
    Ah Mick - "Imagine all the people..."
    PMs, NAs then the flag. Its not good for a nation to talk change.
    Let's talk drought instead and start helping our Australian farmers.
    Old Geezer
    14th Sep 2018
    12:51pm
    Rosret What a stupid attitude! No wonder people like Hilter come to power with that sort of thinking.
    TREBOR
    14th Sep 2018
    1:23pm
    Adelpha Hilter? That's copyright, OG -from my Fem Wars series...
    MICK
    14th Sep 2018
    1:27pm
    Good call Rosret. I remember clearly a movie called Chariots of Fire where one of the royals was heard to put nationalism in its place by reaffirming his view that conviction is what makes man, not the flag he wraps around him.

    Nationalism is a tool of the rich to bind us together and to avoid scrutiny for bad political behaviour. Coo-ee????

    I'll back farmers any day and OG can go back to Johnny Howard and cry with him.
    Rae
    14th Sep 2018
    1:53pm
    " Australians all ...." isn't valid as being inclusive enough?
    Hoohoo
    14th Sep 2018
    5:06pm
    MICK, there ARE more important things to discuss, I agree, but this topic wasn't brought up by the pollies, so I think it's a worthwhile cultural subject to discuss. I believe in breaking stupid & insulting rules.

    Imagine what it's like for a first Australian to have to sing "For we are young & free"? It'd be enough to make me gag on those silly & untrue words. It's like reinforcing the big lie of Terra Nullious, 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 & 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.

    Rosret, schools definitely need rules to be adhered to, to allay disruption & chaos. But the silly & untrue words of Advance Australia Fair are actually causing disruption amongst some students who, if being educated well, have learnt to question the world. I'm proud of that kid for thinking it through & coming to the same conclussion as myself. That child didn't "...flaunt the respect of the nation" because the anthem is just a symbol for the nation. But the anthem is wrong & doesn't deserve respect. It's silly & embarrassing because it reflects our ignorance.
    Knows-a-lot
    14th Sep 2018
    5:13pm
    Children should do as they're bloody well tod; be seen and not heard.
    Joy Anne
    15th Sep 2018
    10:28am
    Totally agree. This is child abuse. No we should not change our National Anthem.
    MICK
    17th Sep 2018
    10:00am
    Hoohoo - and imagine what it was like for an 'immigrant' to have to stand up and sing an anthem to somebody who was just another person. My dilemma.
    Australia needs to move away from British sovereignty altogether and the doting Menzies clones should consider moving back to the motherland. Australia has changed and needs to throw away the chains.

    In regard to the 9 year old activist this is one of the issues facing us all. It's the reason teachers chuck in their jobs. Society losing its cohesion is a problem everywhere and kids think they may do as they please because they have 'rights'. If the parents felt so strongly then they should send their brat to a school which supported their ideals, not to a state school to muck up.

    I found Leon's reference to Van Badman from the Guardian interesting. This is an author who does NOT open her stories/fairy tales up for discussion because she does not want contrary comments. Van Badman's views are worthless and she is a blatant aboriginal activist who pushes the ongoing lament and demands with no accountability whatsoever. I had to stop reading her articles because they are pretty close to worthless.

    The Guardian used to be a top class masthead but it has gone from being a discussion forum to one where most articles are read only. Very few authors now accept comment and even then only on selected stories. What are they afraid of? Vigorous discussion and readers who may disagree with their view of the world. Princesses!
    maxchugg
    17th Sep 2018
    11:11am
    Mick, you are sounding a lot like a troll as you continuously oppose the current democratically elected government.

    And isn't it strange how we have to give the utmost respect to the traditions of every other race on earth, but our own traditions are treated with the utmost contempt from a vocal minority, well described by W.S. Gilbert:

    "The idiot who praises with enthusiastic tone
    All centuries but this and every country but his own."

    Australians died in two world wars to protect our way of life yet today it appears that what was saved will never be appreciated until it is lost, hopefully not irretrievably.
    MICK
    17th Sep 2018
    11:39am
    Democratically elected government? That's the joke of the day.
    This lot were elected with blatant propaganda campaigns from the media orchestrated by the Murdoch rags.
    The process was simple:

    1. give coalition leader heaps of positive backslapping exposure at primary schools and children's hospitals.
    2. give Labor leader 5 second clips picked out in say nothing situations.
    3. do not analyse fake claims from coalition leader Press releases....."you have high electricity process because of the Carbon Tax"????

    So you claim I am trolling. I'll offer you the same response I always do: provide your facts. Ones which are not just propaganda statements and which stand scrutiny.
    YOU CAN'T! The reason being the side of politics you support is a lie on steroids. As I keep saying it is the voice and legislative arm of the top end of town. Tax cuts for rich citizens anyone?????

    You should not dredge up those who died in 2 world wars. These fine very young men were sent to their deaths by politicians who would not send their own children but who wanted to play war games with the lives of our children. Whilst you may talk about liberty you miss the wider issue of WHO runs wars and for what reason. Did you not know Iraq was an oil war to shore up oil. Nothing to do with the official reason given.

    Our way of life is understood but this is far from the best model on the planet. People living in tents whilst the top end have many homes and live an opulent life may appeal to you but be careful when you start throwing the word 'freedom' around. And if you start with 'The Land o the Free' I'll likely puke. A lot more thought needs to go into your posts and the way you perceive the world. It's not what you make it out to be and it will change. Give it another 500 years.
    Hoohoo
    17th Sep 2018
    5:32pm
    MICK, just because you are an immigrant doesn't make it any worse for you (having to sing God Save The Queen). In my eyes, she was always Britain's queen, not mine.

    Your ridiculous suggestion that the parents of this child shouldn't send her to a State school but to a Republican school? an Aboriginal school? What school? A State school is the only place where non-religious, bipartisan or even creative views can be safely aired.

    Is there a written rule anywhere that states that a person must stand for the national anthem?
    maxchugg
    17th Sep 2018
    8:23pm
    Seems I hit a nerve with Mick!

    The current mob was elected by a blatant propaganda campaign, the other mob have never used propaganda to support their campaigns have they? Forgotten Mediscare, parhaps?

    I have memories of Mick labelling those with whom he disagreed as trolls. So I have no respect for his taking umbrage at my treating him in exactly the same way as he treats those with whom he disagrees. And the Libs were supported by the Murdoch Press, the much larger Fairfax group hasn't supported Labor much, has it, neither has the ABC.?

    As for Mick forbidding me to raise the views of those who died in two world wars, he can take a long walk off a short pier with that one. I have a large number of relatives who fought in those conflicts, some died including an uncle who survived Gallipoli but died n the Somme.

    Our way of life is far from the best model on the planet, but the best one of which Mick must be aware to permit him to deem ours inferior is not identified. However ours can't be too bad because of the extremely large numbers who want to move here, with nobody moving from here to greener pastures.

    As for complaints about the wealthy, there is a clear, underlying element of jealousy. In the city where I live there are people who arrived here penniless and are now mullti millionaires.

    Yet another stupid comment is your reference to the side of politics I support. I have been a swinging voter all my life and that's how it will remain.

    Mick, it is clearly you who needs to put in a lot more thought before you post your extreme views.
    MICK
    18th Sep 2018
    10:46am
    Hoohoo - to ANY school which does not require the child to do anything it chooses not to do. They exist.

    Maxchugg - you crack me up mate. There is no propaganda campaign even comparable to a Murdoch + business owned and controlled media campaign. I described how the last one went, something you choose to ignore.
    Mediscare? You fail to tell the full story as normal. This came after GetUp had been hacked by your government. A reprisal. But that was not fair was it? I recall the howls of 'unfair' from Turnbull as well as his vicious attack on the electorate when voters did not do as he had instructed them to do. And then we had the 9 News' Peter Overton sneer at and deride Shorten for having gone back to Tasmania after the elections to thank supporters. You could tell the man was really saying that the election was determined before voting, that they had gone through with the show and now it was all over so go away.
    I adire the young people who went to fight but I do not admire those who created the wars and sent them to their destiny. Don't turn this around like you do with everything else!
    "Jealousy"? That is the calling card of government trolls as that is the word which keeps coming out. For the record I HAVE NO JEALOUSY of the rich but rather contempt. Contempt for avoiding paying their fair share of taxes though fraudulent deductions and loopholes put in place for the top end. The worst of these is offshore tax shelters. I assume you use this Maxchugg.
    For the record I'm not exactly poor but unlike you and your lot I'm not a crook bleeding our country and demanding the poor pay for everything the rich use for free.

    My views are not extreme. They are factual and I'll debate any of them at any time. The trouble with your position is that it's conflicted so you fall in line. Whilst a leftist I have no side of politics other than a fair carve up of the national wealth rather than a rich man's handout. You do.
    maxchugg
    18th Sep 2018
    2:42pm
    Mick, you are simply full of assumptions, all of them wrong, and even when inconvenient facts are pointed out to you they are ignored.
    You assume I am a supporter of the Liberal Party, I have clearly indicated that you are wrong, but I shouldn't confuse you with facts because your mind is made up.
    You accuse me of being a crook, with absolutely no supportive evidence because there is no evidence, I have paid my taxes all of my life.
    I am not telling the whole story about Mediscare. Well maybe because I haven't heard the full story. All I am able to recall was seeing banners promoting the lie for the first time when I went to vote. And I have since searched the internet to find anything which even remotes your claim that the government hacked the GetUp program and find nothing. So who is really failing to tell the whole story, as usual.
    Finally, the pack of lies and vilification that I have received from you and I warn yo that you continue down this path at your peril.
    I will be exercising my right and reporting your last post.
    maxchugg
    18th Sep 2018
    2:50pm
    Mick, I have investigated the probable outcome of reporting your comment which would be that it would simply be removed. That would be unfortunate because it would deny others the benefit of being able to make a reason based assessment of you and your tactics.
    But I again warn you that there are penalties for defamation and I will certainly be retaining copies of your comments in case I decide to take matters further.
    Crowcrag
    14th Sep 2018
    10:35am
    I repeat. All NA’s 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!
    1984
    14th Sep 2018
    11:06am
    A national anthem about a thief, a good message to send to the rest of the world
    TREBOR
    14th Sep 2018
    12:01pm
    Yes - WM would show them that we have thieves as good as theirs and that our coppers are just as mean, and that the rich have privileges unwarranted such as hounding swaggies ... besides - that jumbuck wasn't branded.... and the swaggie was just privatising it on public land ...

    Murray River Sandwich - a sheep between two bags of flour...
    TREBOR
    14th Sep 2018
    12:02pm
    besides..... if it fitted in a tucker bag it was pretty scrawny anyway........
    TREBOR
    14th Sep 2018
    12:04pm
    Once a jolly part-time itinerant piece worker set up tent by a creek elbow,
    Under the shelter of a certain type of tree...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=peVDbqai1wg
    Rosret
    14th Sep 2018
    12:46pm
    Waltzing Matilda is not ours and we would have had to paid copyright to the owners. - and yes - you have to love the French National Anthem. Isn't it amazing that no one challenges theirs!
    Mary
    14th Sep 2018
    10:40am
    I agree Oars. I don't need a 9 year old's opinion on this. Stupid parents
    Old Geezer
    14th Sep 2018
    11:19am
    You can't blame the parents. Just ask a parent with a kid with autism.
    ghoti
    14th Sep 2018
    10:41am
    Miss Nielsen was very brave to stand up for what she believes in. She should be applauded, not torn down by bullies like Jones and Latham. Right wingers bang on about freedom of speech, 18C etc, but get upset when someone expresses a point of view that's different from theirs. Sooks.
    Eddy
    14th Sep 2018
    11:25am
    Is a nine year old capable of forming such an opinion and more so is she capable of understanding these so called beliefs. I think not. I suggest she is being manipulated by others, most probably her parents, but is too immature to realise it.
    TREBOR
    14th Sep 2018
    11:51am
    Well - at least she didn't get a Goodes March out of the stadium .... and she wasn't pilloried as a racist,even though any fair reasoning says that 'racism' goes all ways and not just one - the one in favour of the group that first hijacks the word.....

    Frankly she should have been laughed at and made to stand in the naughty corner ... singing a national anthem doesn't imply you accept any and all wrongs within that nation - it says you are willing to help make it a better place.

    I doubt inspiring revolt will make it a better place for anyone - least of all the Aboriginals.
    Old Geezer
    14th Sep 2018
    11:57am
    What they put that poor girl through was very shameful indeed as I agree with her in what she said.
    TREBOR
    14th Sep 2018
    12:09pm
    Did-ums - you roll the dice, you take your chances.... if you want to make a statement by running against the traffic - your funeral. Even yond pushbike sorority/fraternity aren't stupid enough to stake out the centre of both lanes in a 110 kph zone to make a statement about their right to use the roads. They prefer to block toll gates and threaten innocent motorists with a pump in their hand...
    George
    14th Sep 2018
    12:19pm
    ghoti & Eddy, you are right. The parents need to be disciplined to respect the National Anthem, however anyone bullying a nine-year old is out of line completely. We have a complicated situation because the parents are the problem and there is no mechanism to fix recalcitrant parents - except that the media focus should be fully on them!

    That said, 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.
    TREBOR
    14th Sep 2018
    12:36pm
    Yeee-usssssh - but it does say ALL rejoice, George... only those who don't wish to be part of the nation feel left out.
    Hoohoo
    14th Sep 2018
    5:30pm
    Great point, ghoti. If the offensive hate speech from those extreme right wing loud mouths is regarded as free speech, then they should be applauding this child (you know "I disagree with your opinion but I'll fight to the end for your right to say your opinion"). It just goes to show you they only want their own opinion to dominate the airwaves & are childish spoilsports if they're upstaged by a 9 YR OLD FEMALE!!! Bullying is one of their greatest, childish weapons.

    We're not all young & free, no matter how inclusive you think "ALL" might mean, George.
    We are not only the oldest continent on the surface of the planet, we are also the longest living culture in the world.
    The skyrocketing high incarceration rates of Indigenous people actually suggests they are not very free, either.
    George
    14th Sep 2018
    9:13pm
    Hoohoo, you misunderstood me, I did not justify the current NA because of the word ALL, Trebor did.
    Trebor, I understand your point about the word ALL, however what matters is what each person thinks that includes which is why it may need to be spelled out. Confused? I give a couple of examples. In today's 2GB show, a boofhead show host said all people are supposed to have a Christian name (so can be asked for it) as after all this is a predominantly Christian country! I would be happy if that was true, but such right-wing commentators are out of touch with reality so what do you think the words "ALL Australians" mean to them? Fraser Anning would only want ALL Australians to represent European Christians! Etc, etc. How many of these right-wingers consider ALL to include Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, also those with origins such as Chinese, Vietnamese, Indians, etc, etc?
    That's why I think an Anthem which is more explicit to include the first Australians, ALL Migrants from ALL Parts of the world, and from ALL Religions or Backgrounds irrespective of colour or race, etc would make it more unifying! We are mainly a country of immigrants!
    In the absence of that, let's stick with what we have till there is more support for change - this is NOT a critical issue now as MICK and some others have noted. At least, the world ALL means the right things to the real (i.e. good) Australians, so the parents must be asked to train their children to respect the current NA (giving respect doesn't mean you have to agree fully with anything).
    Let's instead check what the new Lib Govt is pretending to do very closely!
    Hoohoo
    16th Sep 2018
    3:10pm
    I beg your pardon, George, I did misunderstand you. I agree with you totally about "all" meaning different things to different people. As you say, the right wing loud mouths mean "all white & Christian", a bit like Dutton's au pairs "just common sense" (to give them visas).

    And I agree with you & MICK about there being more important issues, tho this one was not brought up by the LNP trying to distract us, as so often is the case. (Like Morrison just declaring a Royal Commission into aged care. Where have the Govt. been on this issue for the last 5 years? Cutting funding to dementia care, that's where.)

    I personally will stand for this stupid anthem, but if I were in a room with Indigenous people I would remain seated with them, to show I understand & to show solidarity with their struggle for recognition.

    I have a very good singing voice & I always start with "Australians all eat ostriches".
    Priscilla
    14th Sep 2018
    10:51am
    Yes, bring back Waltzing Matilda.
    1984
    14th Sep 2018
    11:08am
    A national anthem about a thief, a good message to send to the rest of the world.
    And Waltzing Matilda was never our national anthem
    Old Geezer
    14th Sep 2018
    11:20am
    Anything is better than that lullaby we have now.
    KB
    14th Sep 2018
    11:36am
    Priscilla My daughter was told by her music teacher that the song is about man who commits suicide and that is why he jumped into the Billabong, A great little negative song Miss Nielsen was brave and disobedient Love it or loathe this is our national anthem. Children should learn the anthem out of respect for our country. Why do we need to change everything?
    KB
    14th Sep 2018
    11:42am
    Priscilal NMy daughter was taught by her music teacher that Waltzing Matilda is about a man who commits suicide A g great but negative song, Th Miss Nielsen was brave and disobedient, Love or loathe the song this is our national anthem and children should be taught to stand and sing the anthem as assemblies and events, There is no need to keep changing.
    80 plus
    14th Sep 2018
    10:57am
    When my two lads where nine years of age they had no idea what the national anthem meant, I suggest the parents are at fault, I suggest they have used the child to further their own propaganda, If the are non indigenous their are other ways to publicize the minority view.
    trood
    14th Sep 2018
    11:19am
    totally agree, the kid has been brainwashed by the parents
    Fiona
    14th Sep 2018
    5:12pm
    Yes I agree about the parents.
    If you listen to some of the words she used they are unlikely to have been used by a child her age.
    Hoohoo
    14th Sep 2018
    5:49pm
    Boys are not as gifted with words & comprehension as girls are, at that age. Were your boys much good at English, 80 plus?

    I would say that most children talk with & question their parents these days. I'd hope so really. How else do you teach your children about the world, values & respect, if the communication lines aren't open? It's not like when I was a child, where you did what you were told & that's the end of it. I know there were many things I was confused about when I was a child, but couldn't ask anyone because it would have appeared I was being disrespectful by questioning my parents, church or teachers. The crazy thing is that they would not only have earned my respect by giving me answers, they would have also prevented me from thinking stupid stuff (like a calf is born out of a cow's bum). The end result was that when I got older & learned I'd been duped, I didn't trust them to give me the truth about anything. It caused a lot of upheaval in my childhood.

    No doubt the parents have played a role in this child's opinions & behaviour. That's normal. This girl is just lucky she wasn't brainwashed with crazy stuff.
    Old Geezer
    14th Sep 2018
    11:16am
    Get rid of the current lullaby. I certainly wont stand for it and it also puts me to sleep.
    Eddy
    14th Sep 2018
    11:27am
    Quick someone, play Advance Australia Fair, anything to put OG asleep.
    Old Geezer
    14th Sep 2018
    11:38am
    Good thing I don't stand for it as I might just break something when I fall asleep listening to it.
    TREBOR
    14th Sep 2018
    11:53am
    Bloody disrespectful foreigner...
    Old Geezer
    14th Sep 2018
    11:56am
    Trebor it is you who is being disrespectable of others.
    TREBOR
    14th Sep 2018
    12:11pm
    Lay it out for us chapter and verse, Ebergeezer... please explain? Rhetoric is of no value from YOUR kind... (aaaaah - ha, ha, ha, ha).... since the High court has held that the view of an 'expert witness' must be supported by fact and cannot stand alone... now - as for the non-experts among us....
    Kosmo
    14th Sep 2018
    11:23am
    Why can everyone leave everything along? Why do we need to change the flag, the anthem, Australia was the lucky country ONCE! Leave it along!!!
    Rae
    14th Sep 2018
    1:56pm
    We needvto waste a whole heap of money and still not please all the people.

    If Australians all... isn't inclusive enough then nothing will be.
    Hoohoo
    14th Sep 2018
    6:04pm
    Lucky for some, Kosmo.

    The flag is a farce & should be changed. I like the Southern Cross because it is forever relevant (except it's missing the second pointer star).
    Why not just have a map of Australia (it won't be confused with any other British colonies), surrounded by the same deep blue we have now, with the Southern Cross at the top, placed so that it's pointing South?
    Dave R
    14th Sep 2018
    11:24am
    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.
    Fiona
    14th Sep 2018
    5:13pm
    Agree with you Dave.
    Jacka
    14th Sep 2018
    11:25am
    Change our national anthem are you joking change it to what Muslim Knights. Children attend school to learn nothing else. While at school she should do as she is told as generations have before her. Obviously being manipulated by her wacko parents she should not be suspended she should be expelled and Children's Services should be involved to see if they are fit parents. I think Australia has more valid points to worry about then an unruly brat at a state school. Just more gutter press how about solving a energy and financial problems before worrying about such Ludacris matters.Jacka.
    Old Geezer
    14th Sep 2018
    11:31am
    Everyone has the right not to stand even children. Most schools just ignore those who don't.
    TREBOR
    14th Sep 2018
    12:12pm
    Where is this right enshrined, OG? Every list of Rights I've published time and again to point to the truths does not show any 'right to not stand for the anthem'.....
    Old Geezer
    14th Sep 2018
    12:43pm
    There is no right at all to stand for the anthem.
    TREBOR
    14th Sep 2018
    1:25pm
    You're saying that paying respect to the nation, those who came before in its building to its current day, and those who currently toil in foreign fields or at home on the home front...... now requires a Right to do so?

    Your thinking is backward,OG - are you Polish?
    Rae
    14th Sep 2018
    1:57pm
    Jehovah's Witnesses and a few other religious don't stand either.
    Gra
    14th Sep 2018
    2:48pm
    Old Geezer, it is out of respect we stand for the National Anthem. If you can't respect that you don't respect our country.
    Old Geezer
    14th Sep 2018
    3:25pm
    I lost respect for this country decades ago. That's why I now don't vote.
    TREBOR
    14th Sep 2018
    4:25pm
    Welllll...... I can certainly see merit in your position there, OG - I've long ago lost any respect for the way this once-great nation is managed - but the vast majority of the people I meet and chat with are worthy of respect, and since those are primarily (where I live anyway) your older and long-established Australians - I'd have to say there is still hope... hope lies with the proles...
    Old Geezer
    14th Sep 2018
    4:59pm
    Trebor I am one of those older and long established Australians so there is not much to look up to and respect at all.
    cookie47
    14th Sep 2018
    11:27am
    The Parents are the biggest issue. A couple of know it all professors that are teaching their child to buck the system. What next "I don't like maths so i wont go". The school has rules......
    Julian
    14th Sep 2018
    12:51pm
    Yet another case of left leaning Greenies suffering from relevance deprivation syndrome.

    For those who defended the child, think about it: is there a right to reply to anyone who suggests that our national anthem is synonymous to " institutional racism".

    Maybe the parents have an opinion. Fine. Why push it through a child who most certainly doesn't even understand the meaning of what she has regurgitated on behalf of a couple of idiot parents who would not have received the same attention.

    Congratulations...5 minutes of fame achieved.

    Idiots.
    WideBayMike
    14th Sep 2018
    1:10pm
    Absolutely agree. It's the parents and I wonder what else these presumably left leaning tree huggers have "advised" their daughter to do. You don't give carte blanche to your nine year old.
    TREBOR
    14th Sep 2018
    4:26pm
    Professors you say? Never had a real job or contacted the real world in their lives....
    ghoti
    14th Sep 2018
    5:55pm
    On what basis, Julian, do you blame "left leaning Greenies"?

    You ask "Why push it through a child who most certainly doesn't even understand the meaning of what she has regurgitated?" What about all the other kids who also don't understand the meaning yet do what they're told and stand? Ms Nielsen clearly DOES understand the meaning of the words, hence her decision to sit.

    You also ask if there's a right to reply to anyone who suggests that our national anthem is synonymous to "institutional racism'". Of course there is. Such discourse is the essence of democracy.

    Let's turn this 9-y-o kid into a mindless automaton who unthinkingly obeys convention - in fact, let's ban all our citizens from thinking for themselves!
    Illuminati
    14th Sep 2018
    11:35am
    You can change all you like but for some activists nothing will make them happy. They will just move to the next cause. Some even want Sydney changed. They find it offensive because it is named after the British Home Secretary, Thomas Townshend, Lord Sydney who issued the charter authorising Phillip to establish a colony.
    Illuminati
    14th Sep 2018
    11:37am
    All I see is a 9 year old future Greens senator in training.
    Julian
    14th Sep 2018
    3:22pm
    They seem to despise many things typically Australian including our values and longstanding traditions.

    Same reply, love Australia or leave!
    ghoti
    14th Sep 2018
    6:01pm
    Julian writes "love Australia or leave". I love many - but not all - aspects of Australia. By staying and contributing to Australian society I've tried to help improve it.
    Hoohoo
    14th Sep 2018
    6:28pm
    I can just as easily tell you, Illuminati, to love Australia or leave.

    It all depends on who you think has more "right" to be Australian & what Australia really is. People with closed minds always think they are in the majority. They don't have the imagination nor the inclination to want to walk in someone else's shoes.

    For example, the Tony Abbot faction of the LNP think THEIR party has moved too far to the left! To the point they cut down another standing Prime Minister FROM THEIR OWN PARTY (the same behaviour they crucified Labor for, & the only reason why Abbott was voted in in the first place!). They will be genuinely shocked when they find out at the next election, exactly what the people think of that.
    Robbo
    14th Sep 2018
    11:39am
    The little girl wouldn't know what she is on about its the parents one only has to look at them to know they are left wing crapp
    ghoti
    14th Sep 2018
    6:05pm
    So, Robbo, it seems that in your view those who think for themselves are left-wing and those who line up and do what they're told are right-wing - is that what you're saying?
    Robbo
    15th Sep 2018
    8:31am
    No Ghoti left wingers are scum like these people who make big deals of themselves and think everyone should do what they think and by the way most of them are pensioner bludgers or dole bludgers probably like yourself.
    Hoohoo
    17th Sep 2018
    5:45pm
    Oh Robbie! Your powers of persuasive language are very poor. Maybe thinking outside the square is beyond you intellectually, but your argument really degenerates with your name-calling of people as scum & bludgers. It just makes your opinion sound silly - best not to say anything if you can't back it up with something logical.
    almost midnight
    14th Sep 2018
    11:39am
    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 5 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 3 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 !
    Hoohoo
    14th Sep 2018
    6:30pm
    Just the chorus, then repeat the last line. It's a beauty.
    TREBOR
    14th Sep 2018
    11:47am
    As I said elsewhere yesterday - the words are "Australians ALL let us rejoice" .... so if this silly little girl with her equally silly little parents and all the Aboriginals out there do no wish to be part of this nation - they are always welcome to go their own way without it.

    As for that silly song above celebrating a minority in this nation - how is that inclusive of everyone, with its over-focus on Aboriginals?

    All this activism and resentment and hostility and calls for a split into an Apartheid State lead me to the conclusion that it's time to cut off the purse strings for those who want to 'go their own way' and let them rise or fall on their own efforts without any sustenance from the nation and society they hate so much - and that doesn't apply only to Aboriginals in that category.

    If you do not wish to be part of this nation - go be part of another one somewhere else.
    Hoohoo
    14th Sep 2018
    6:36pm
    If you don't like MY country, then go back to where you came from, TREBOR

    It's just such a childish thing to say, isn't it?
    Hoohoo
    17th Sep 2018
    5:53pm
    You obviously stopped reading during Verse 1, TREBOR, because the other verses talk of immigrants & modern, industrialised Australia. But rightly, you tell a story from at the beginning.

    Like I said earlier, just sing the chorus, then repeat the last line. It includes everyone without favour.

    "We are one, but we are many
    And from all the lands on earth we come
    We’ll share a dream and sing with one voice
    "I am, you are, we are Australian”

    “I am, you are, we are Australian”
    AutumnOz
    14th Sep 2018
    11:47am
    As the child was only 9 years old she was probably seeking attention, which she did get by a country mile.
    If we keep changing things because one child objects to it, nothing in this country will ever improve and there are a lot of 9 year olds out there, including two of my descendants who currently complain about everything, merely to be disagreeable, they will grow out of it by their next birthdays.
    The question is should we aim to be ruled by adults or children?
    Old Geezer
    14th Sep 2018
    11:50am
    WE are already being ruled by children not adults.
    TREBOR
    14th Sep 2018
    11:56am
    Sort of an Adolph Hitler thing to kick-start a political career - jump on a table in a beer hall, fire a pistol into the roof, and shout :- "The Revolution Has Begun!"
    KB
    14th Sep 2018
    11:52am
    We do need to change the national anthem. This our anthem and children should be taught to stand and sing the anthem at assemblies and events Miss Nielsen was brave yet disobedient,Love or loathe the anthem rebelling at school is not an option Priscilla my daughter was taught her music teacher that Waltzing Matilda is about a man who kills himself, There is no need to change the anthem. I remember singing and standing for God Save the Queen.Did me no harm
    Old Geezer
    14th Sep 2018
    11:55am
    Do you want me to tell you the words we used to sing to God Save the Queen? I don't think so but that is what children do when they are told to do things they don't wish to do. It is not uncommon for kids not to stand and some don't even know the words. I don't know the words myself as I have had no interest it at all. Every time I heard it I feel ashamed at such a terrible song.
    KB
    14th Sep 2018
    11:53am
    The girls was disobedient. No need to change the anthem
    Old Geezer
    14th Sep 2018
    11:58am
    No she was disobedient she was just doing what she felt was right.
    Rae
    14th Sep 2018
    2:00pm
    There are a heap of parents who hated school, hated being told what to do, hated feeling they didn't know everything already and they will always have kids with a similar attitude.
    Hoohoo
    17th Sep 2018
    5:59pm
    Is there a written rule anywhere that states that a person must stand for the national anthem? If not, then she's not being disobedient.

    She might be being disobedient to the bullies around her, insisting that she do as THEY SAY.
    Can anyone quote the written source of this "RULE"?
    TREBOR
    14th Sep 2018
    11:58am
    All right - you 255 who voted to change it - what are your suggestions? Or is this just another DUH moment with nothing to replace it with?
    Hoohoo
    14th Sep 2018
    6:43pm
    "I am Australian" with just the chorus, then repeat the last line.

    It's simple & inclusive - that's all you need.

    Not a girt in sight! & no "Australians all eat ostriches", as many children inadvertently sing.
    Swinging voter
    14th Sep 2018
    11:59am
    Next thing will be the Greens suggesting 9-yr olds should be able to vote. The child has to be shown that rules are rules and school is where rules are implemented.Her parents should be ashamed for facilitating so much publicity onto the shoulders of a juvenile not far out of her infancy.
    Old Geezer
    14th Sep 2018
    12:02pm
    You should be ashamed for saying that a child has no right to do what she feels is right.
    Swinging voter
    14th Sep 2018
    12:56pm
    Old Geezer: What sort of rubbish logic is that? If a child feels like, e.g. offending old people, thinks she can turn up late for school, speaking out of turn to teachers, in other words believes she can do what she feels is right (for her) despite her inadequate life experience, then pity help the rest of us. Most of whom have been doing the right thing for decades. I've never read such utter rot.
    Old Geezer
    14th Sep 2018
    1:22pm
    Neither have I.
    Rae
    14th Sep 2018
    2:13pm
    A fair % of kids do feel they can do what they like and act out their feelings. It's one reason teachers are leaving in droves. Try dealing with kids like that day in and day out where the rules no longer apply.

    The disruption to everyone's learning is incredible.
    TREBOR
    14th Sep 2018
    6:33pm
    Intellectual beheading of the Infidel teacher..... behead those who offend the children ...
    ronloby
    14th Sep 2018
    12:03pm
    The same also should apply to all in a court of law. The meaning of FAIR has been taken as being WHITE which is incorrect. In my time at school, we had to stand for the National Anthem and sing it. School years in the late 1950's to 1960". A fair-haired person doesn't mean white hair.
    TREBOR
    14th Sep 2018
    12:24pm
    Hmm - no way anyone could read 'Australia Fair' as meaning anything but a lovely place to be.... unless that Tibetan Loco Weed had been eating their brain for many years...

    Australia - Beautiful One day - Apartheid The Next!
    Sickofit
    14th Sep 2018
    12:06pm
    On face value (yuppies) I believe that the parents influenced the girl.
    Hoohoo
    14th Sep 2018
    6:46pm
    Of course they influenced their own child. Every parent does!
    Crazy Horse
    14th Sep 2018
    12:06pm
    I’s Like something that the music truly moves you such as the French and Russian anthems do.
    TREBOR
    14th Sep 2018
    12:26pm
    Go, Children Of The Fatherland,
    The Day of Glory has arrived....

    Hmmm....

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOAtz8xWM0w
    KB
    14th Sep 2018
    12:07pm
    Child was disobedient and should sing the national anthem, Love or loathe the anthem children should be taught to sing the anthem at assemblies and events, We do not need to change the anthem. I remember standing and singing God Save the Queen at assemblies . Did us no harm. When my daughter finished high school the students went out with I am Australian
    Farside
    14th Sep 2018
    12:07pm
    as I recall the poll was to select a tune for a national song, not the lyrics, which is why it took so many more years for girt by sea to catch on. If we must keep the words to Advance Australia Fair then I suggest changing the tune to Jimmy Barnes' Working Class Man would be far more emotive and inspirational - https://youtu.be/oVKngijexnw.

    At the moment it could be sung to the Gilligan's Island theme and be as big a yawn.
    Julian
    14th Sep 2018
    4:23pm
    "Working class man " is a great Aussie song but wouldn't be suitable. Firstly it makes reference to a man who" loves his little woman"

    This is gender specific and not gender fluid and therefore genderphobic. Does that word exist? Not yet, but give it time.

    Also it could be deemed to be discriminatory to homosexuals as there is reference to a heterosexual relationship.

    A reference to God could also be perceived as offensive to non Christians.

    The word "man" is repeatedly used and would need to be replaced by a non gender specific term such as "person", "neuter", "they" or "it".

    Hopefully, this would alleviate any political incorrectness and appease the snowflakes.

    See the can of worms farside?
    Farside
    19th Sep 2018
    12:22am
    Julian, need to read more closely as you have misunderstood. Try the link and all will become clear, I am talking of the tune only. Your analysis of the non-PC lyrics is irrelevant to changing the tune.
    Sampson
    14th Sep 2018
    12:08pm
    The first Australians, the pygmies, who were wiped out are unable to state their case.
    HS
    14th Sep 2018
    3:18pm
    About 60,000 years ago, a small band of humans landed in northern Australia, arriving on a primitive boat or raft. ... The nature of powerful indigenous tribes of the ancient past was to: “invade, rape,enslave, kill, take possession, (steal) colonise, settle and hunt”. Then, in 1606 the first Europeans arrived followed by Captain Cook in 1770 and the First Fleet in 1788.
    There's nothing nice about the past of indigenous nor of the so called civilised empires, they all practiced genocide world wide.
    National anthems should about the pride of the nation and it's good progressive achievements to the humanity of its society.
    inquisitive
    14th Sep 2018
    3:34pm
    The British weren't the first, nor will they be the last with this same philosophy, unfortunately.
    Courage
    14th Sep 2018
    12:08pm
    Get a grip! This child is 9....Leave her alone....
    Maggie
    14th Sep 2018
    12:17pm
    Yes she is a child, a bright thinking child who is prepared to stick up for her ideas.

    We do need to acknowledge that the Aboriginal people of this land were here long long before anyone else. And only now are we discovering how sophisticated their knowledge is and has been for ages: how to deal with the country's awful bush fires, land conservancy and an amazing knowledge of the stars for example.
    TREBOR
    14th Sep 2018
    1:28pm
    Yes - give it time... like "I want to be a boy" it will pass.....
    Rae
    14th Sep 2018
    2:16pm
    What part of "Australians all..." is not understood?
    Sampson
    14th Sep 2018
    12:11pm
    The real first Australians, the pygmies, who were wiped out are the only ones who matter in this case.
    Hoohoo
    17th Sep 2018
    6:07pm
    If they were pygmies from Flores, they arrived here after the ancestors of modern Aboriginal people.
    What Pygmies are you talking about, Sampson? What Museum caretakes their bones & how old are they reckoned to be?
    Sceptic
    14th Sep 2018
    12:11pm
    What, a nine-year-old kid refuses to stand for the national anthem after being influenced by her parents, and this site asks should we change the anthem. and then bleats about needing something more inclusive. What's next, have a few lines to include the LGBTIXYZ? Pathetic.
    Swinging voter
    14th Sep 2018
    1:07pm
    Couldn't agree more. I'm sick to death of loud-mouthed minority alphabet groups. What next LGBTIXYZJUVENILESFORPARLIAMENT. Bettina Arndt (a fully grown adult) wasn't even allowed to peacefully give her opinion piece at Sydney University, being abused and shouted down on a campus where adults, repeat adults, are supposed to engage in free, polite and open speech - sickening. And here we have people who think a 9 year old child can refuse the school rules and advocating the anthem should be changed as a result.
    Old Geezer
    14th Sep 2018
    1:27pm
    It's about time someone had the guts to stand up and say what a terrible song it is. I myself refused to stand for it.
    TREBOR
    14th Sep 2018
    1:31pm
    Ah - so that's what happened at Sydney U - I've been trying to get someone elsewhere to put up a link.

    Yeee-usssh - free speech and the right of any adult to make up his/her own mind based on facts and statements made and own thoughts - doesn't apply in any house of 'learning' these days....

    Unless you are 110% on their 'side', you are the enemy, Infidel etc ....and off with your head. The polluted air of Sydney has destroyed the brains of students, methinks.
    TREBOR
    14th Sep 2018
    1:32pm
    P.S. That's what happens when you are forced to suffer under a feminocracy - muddled thinking comes to the fore (and the five... and the six... and the seven)....
    inextratime
    14th Sep 2018
    3:43pm
    There's always a well balanced argument from OG because he's got a chip on both shoulders.
    TREBOR
    14th Sep 2018
    4:30pm
    He stems from a timber felling district - those are logs...
    Old Geezer
    14th Sep 2018
    4:58pm
    Mope I've got a decent sized log on both shoulders and it does me proud.
    Hoohoo
    14th Sep 2018
    6:54pm
    Old Geezer is the only one making sense here.

    I rarely agree with him but he is entitled to his opinion, just as a 9 year old child is allowed to have an opinion.
    Sceptic
    15th Sep 2018
    12:23pm
    One does not stand for the song it is respect for your country. Just the same as in the services you do not salute the person of rank you salute the rank. OG and any other are just announcing that they do not respect the country and are demonstrating it by refusing to stand for the national anthem. They are no better than the persons of a certain faith who do not stand in court.
    Hoohoo
    17th Sep 2018
    6:32pm
    Now it comes out, TREBOR, with your misogyny & anti-gay language coming to the fore, 5, 6 & more. You just can't handle this female child having a voice.

    Lucky for the rest of us Australians, Sceptic, we haven't had to enrol in the armed services to salute scraps of fabric, or be court-marshalled. We are free. We deserve as much respect as the next person. All of us. You can't equate respect for the anthem with respect for rank, because you (hopefully) freely chose to sign up, to be given orders without questioning them. This is quite different. Where is a written rule or law that states a person must stand for the national anthem?

    Nothing would ever change if no-one asked questions about the relevancy of the customs we adhere to. We'd still be serfs, mere subjects owned by the aristocracy.
    Farside
    14th Sep 2018
    12:12pm
    as I recall the 1977 vote was for a tune for a national song, and not the lyrics; possibly explains why it still took so long to change. But if we have to keep the lyrics to Advance Australia Fair then we should change the tune to be more emotive and inspirational, perhaps to Jimmy Barnes' Working Class Man - https://youtu.be/oVKngijexnw.
    IanM
    14th Sep 2018
    12:13pm
    Leave the flag and our anthem alone. Many have served and died under that flag to protect our freedom. Show some respect and patriotism to our country. Our flag is recognised an respected around the world. And still we have those with nothing better to do with their lives but to disrespect everything Australian. Parents and teachers have an obligation to teach kids Australian values and how we got to where we are today. The good and the bad. If you can't accept our flag and anthem perhaps you should pack up and move to a country whose flag and anthem you can accept. Love it or leave. That's my opinion anyway.
    Farside
    14th Sep 2018
    12:14pm
    as I recall the 1977 vote was for a tune for a national song, and not the lyrics; possibly explains why it still took so long to change. But if we have to keep the lyrics to Advance Australia Fair then we should change the tune to be more emotive and inspirational, perhaps to Jimmy Barnes' Working Class Man https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVKngijexnw
    Farside
    14th Sep 2018
    12:15pm
    as I recall the 1977 vote was for a tune for a national song, and not the lyrics; possibly explains why it still took so long to change. But if we have to keep the lyrics to Advance Australia Fair then we should change the tune to be more emotive and inspirational, perhaps to Jimmy Barnes' Working Class Man (check it out on youtube)
    Sceptic
    14th Sep 2018
    12:16pm
    Personally, I do not particularly like the National Anthem, as it is not really very rousing, but it is the National Anthem and we stand to honour and respect the country, notwithstanding our personal feelings about the tune or the words. Exactly as we stand to respect other countries National Anthems when we are in their country or a representative is visiting this country.
    Old Geezer
    14th Sep 2018
    12:18pm
    Why not say you don't like it instead of just towing the line. That is what is wrong with this country. People just put up with BS.
    inextratime
    14th Sep 2018
    5:53pm
    Most National Anthems are pretty boring but you don't hear people complaining because at the end of the day its not life threatening. If the school girl wants to sit down through the NA let her sit alone in a classroom before the anthem starts and she can then re-join the rest of the assembly when its over.
    Sceptic
    15th Sep 2018
    12:28pm
    Okay OG what is the line is that you are dragging, or should that be toeing?
    Farside
    14th Sep 2018
    12:18pm
    as I recall the 1977 vote was for a tune for a national song, not the lyrics. If we must keep Advance Australia Fair then how about changing the tune to something more emotive and inspirational like Jimmy Barnes' Working Class Man https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVKngijexnw
    Triss
    14th Sep 2018
    12:27pm
    It has nothing to do with Miss Hoity Toity. I’m sure the Aboriginal people are pig sick of blue eyed blondes telling them what to do and when and now they have a child who, because she thinks and feels a certain way then the Aboriginal people must feel the same.
    Aboriginal people are quite able to put forward their own points of view they do not need a nine year old treating them like three years old.
    TREBOR
    14th Sep 2018
    4:34pm
    Hear, hear...... when will the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs be an Aboriginal? When will the Minister for Disabilities be disabled? When will the Minister for Defence be defensible?

    More notice of the 'ordinary' Aboriginals and not their often self-appointed spokespersons would go a long way. We're pretty integrated around here, and many families have some Aboriginal blood...

    I have a niece and a nephew who are part Aboriginal.
    Hoohoo
    14th Sep 2018
    6:58pm
    Q) When will the Minister for Women be a female?
    A) When Malcolm Turnbull stabs him in the back.
    Hoohoo
    14th Sep 2018
    6:59pm
    Ha ha. Maybe Abbott felt he was really a girl.
    Old Geezer
    14th Sep 2018
    12:33pm
    The comments here have given me a great insight into how people like Hilter come to power. Everyone just tows the line because they are too scared to do otherwise. It also shows me why people are stupid enough to vote in Labor government too. Remember if you do nothing nothing good happens.
    Anonymous
    14th Sep 2018
    1:17pm
    Very insightful OG
    Bravo !
    TREBOR
    14th Sep 2018
    1:38pm
    Lay it out for us chapter and verse, OG... olbie - since you have the answer to everyone else - perhaps you could write your position down so the great unwashed can review it....

    Why, when, where and how are people 'toeing the line' and thus are permitting the rise of a New Hitler here etc?

    Do you consider simply wanting something innocuous to remain unchanged is 'toeing the line'?

    **you don't 'tow a line' unless you are fishing a la trolling - you toe the line or otherwise...

    Along with sense and sensibility, and reasoning, English usage has gone out the Bondi outfall with all other standards... no wonder the nation is on its knees and ripe for takeover by a new breed of robber baron who will mercilessly exploit the peasants waiting for their trickle-down..... bit of a drought there so far, though...
    Anonymous
    14th Sep 2018
    1:41pm
    Oh dear Trebor
    Just read what happened to Colin Kapernick after he kneeled for the US national anthem and the vitriol Herr Trump unleashed on him.
    The guy never played another game in his life
    Those advocating this poor 9 year old be punished are just as fascist as those who went after Colin
    Gra
    14th Sep 2018
    2:53pm
    Could it be Old Geezer and olbaid are one and the smae? Neither have any idea of the concept of Respect. Both just keep pushing the same old Socialist tripe.
    Old Geezer
    14th Sep 2018
    3:27pm
    I was thinking myself that 90% of those commenting here are the same person too as they believe the same things or worse still just follow the crowd in their beliefs.
    Hoohoo
    14th Sep 2018
    7:04pm
    I reckon the magnetic poles have just flipped! OG & olbaid are being called socialists???!!! WTF?
    I was agreeing with OG earlier?

    I think this site is publishing the wrong posts next to the wrong names. What's going on?
    Anonymous
    14th Sep 2018
    7:15pm
    Perhaps Hoohoo , you have finally come to your senses and realized who are the good guys here who only want what’s best for all Australians
    Unlike the champagne socialists who will promise short term goodies just to get voted and future generations be damned
    Sceptic
    15th Sep 2018
    12:32pm
    Dragging that line again eh, OG?
    Hoohoo
    17th Sep 2018
    6:51pm
    That's more like it olbaid! You are an anti-socialist after all. Yep, you & your "good guys" like to give big tax cuts to the mega rich & watch it trickle down into their offshore accounts, Family Trusts & negatively geared extra houses.

    Just don't consider a wage increase for the workers, no siree. Not those spoilt brats! You even managed to cut the wages of the poor people who serve you coffees & brunches on Sundays. Well done! Yep, that's what's best for all Australians. What a bloody champion of Australia you are! NOT!
    Anonymous
    17th Sep 2018
    8:01pm
    Hoohoo - you understand nothing

    Penalty rates was making our tourism industry uncompetitive and sending small businesses bankrupt
    Hoohoo
    18th Sep 2018
    5:47pm
    Absolute BS rubbish, olbaid. Are you suggesting that slave labour will make Australia a more attractive tourist destination?

    The reason tourists LOVE Australia is because our people are friendly & relaxed. We don't have a high crime rate because people who find work have a good standard of living. Not like the USA with it's high crime rates & sucking up service, because the hourly wage is so low the workers rely on tips & have to put up with sexual harassment on a daily basis. (Not to mention their ugly gun culture).

    And even more absolute rubbish about sending small businesses bankrupt! I have friends who own cafes & they have rightly figured that if there are enough customers around, it's worth opening up on Sunday. They simply impose a 10% surcharge if they need to. Do people on holidays say "Oh no, I won't be having a coffee today because it costs $4.95, not $4.50!" Of course they don't! The other thing cafe owners do is take it in turns to open on Sundays, with a nearby cafe. Having a day off is good for you & your family.

    It is you who understands nothing, olbaid.
    Bob
    14th Sep 2018
    12:50pm
    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.
    Rae
    14th Sep 2018
    2:21pm
    Absolute nonsense. Australians All... starts it off and "fair" means equality. Just because the term "fair" means anything but these days doesn't count. It never meant blonde and very few Australians are "white" anyway. Most are bronze and a mixture of races.

    In fact if all those with Indigenous blood every came out it would surprise many.

    That people can't learn the correct words is appalling. Perhaps we aren't a clever country at all.
    TREBOR
    14th Sep 2018
    6:38pm
    I've a blonde blue-eyed German stock friend in the US - she did a DNA test and found she had Greek and Italian mixed in - and found a heap of cousins she never knew of.

    My lot have been here since the 1850's and are made up of pretty much everything (I think)... including possibly Chinese since I have fabo Chink eyes and olive skin... they used to call me Ming at school...
    Blossom
    14th Sep 2018
    12:57pm
    i have reared kids and grandkids and work at a school and nine year olds do just mimic something they have heard with no understanding of the issue, just seeking attention.

    God help us if we let them run the country
    Charlie
    14th Sep 2018
    12:58pm
    What a weak pathetic nation we are becoming, a child wont stand for the national anthem so we have to change it. Then the whole school has to change their procedures.

    Are there really so many people who don't have the ability to think these things thru.? Why is this even an issue that needs fixing, when there are so many other things to do.

    When are we going to stop this madness of pandering to minorities. Last year it was changing the date for Australia Day

    What noisy minority has got hold of this one?

    The only outcome of this is, nobody stands for the anthem and we don't bother about an anthem. Also we don't take pride in being Australians because we are too self centered
    Charlie
    14th Sep 2018
    6:07pm
    Funny thing about this survey, it seems to let me do it as many times as I like..
    TREBOR
    14th Sep 2018
    6:39pm
    Hence the massive vote and fewer responses....
    Foxy
    14th Sep 2018
    1:00pm
    .... only had to see/listen to her "wanky" father being interviewed on TV last night to see where the child gets her direction from! Pathetic individual!

    14th Sep 2018
    1:15pm
    Those politicians and tv/radio personalities criticizing the girl are morons
    How did the press get hold of this issue anyway .
    Perhaps the parents thought the kid might be able to land a Nike contract like Kapernick did
    TREBOR
    14th Sep 2018
    4:36pm
    By George, Pickering - I do believe he's got it!

    She'll be cast in a long-running TV series next... get an agent... be promoted etc....
    WideBayMike
    14th Sep 2018
    1:19pm
    It's all about the parents. Mummy and Daddy have an opinion or maybe an axe to grind somewhere and are using there nine year old to get their message out there. I wonder what else these presumably left leaning tree huggers have advised their girl about? You don't give carte blanche to your nine year old daughter.
    udo1103
    14th Sep 2018
    1:37pm
    well, to be honest, i would like to have aboriginal items in the flag and in the anthem...we don't do enough for australia's indigenous people...money never does the job...we should integrate them more and more into our society...but to do so, we would need politicians who have the balls/guts to act !!! much more could be said and written !!!
    TREBOR
    14th Sep 2018
    1:42pm
    It's a very difficult and complex issue, udo... and frankly I don't have the answer to the
    Aboriginal question(s).

    Attempting to integrate them will mean forcing them to change their ways etc, and will be labeled oppression.
    Hoohoo
    14th Sep 2018
    7:12pm
    Why can't we just show respect & celebrate their culture?

    Welfare if the quickest way to disempower someone. Better to spend money to support the teachers of language & culture in schools, for those who wish to participate. And teach mainstream history with truth-telling, no matter how uncomfortable the truth is.
    Hoohoo
    17th Sep 2018
    7:09pm
    You are correct, udo1103, saying money never does the job. All it does is give fuel to racists like Pauline Hanson, so they can point & say "There! They're getting money that us hard-working white folk don't get".

    The thing is, Aboriginal people never asked for welfare to rule them. The first time they were ever asked for their opinion of what they want, they said they wanted a voice in Parliament, & were promptly ticked off by Turnbull, saying that Australians aren't ready for that! The Govt was expecting them to come back with something meaningless like "Recognition in the Constitution" something that wouldn't change anything for them, in regards to deaths in custody or closing the gap, for example.

    The lack of Aboriginal disempowerment & self determination has always been the problem. White society know best, of course.
    Jezemeg8
    14th Sep 2018
    1:39pm
    This child and her parents and other supporters should be given a dictionary and be required to write out sentences of all the meanings listed under the word 'fair', maybe then they would realize that Advance Australia Fair has nothing at all to do with White Australia but is to do with advancing a Just Australia who treats everyone with respect and fairness.
    TREBOR
    14th Sep 2018
    4:40pm
    "What's all this then? Romanes Eunt Domus? People who are called Romans go to the house?"

    "It says 'Romans go home!"

    "No, it doesn't..."

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjOfQfxmTLQ
    ghoti
    14th Sep 2018
    6:32pm
    So "Advance Australia Fair has nothing at all to do with White Australia but is to do with advancing a Just Australia who treats everyone with respect and fairness"? I don't see, on this site, much respect and fairness shown towards a nine-year-old girl who stands up (by sitting down) for what many other Australians also think.
    TREBOR
    14th Sep 2018
    6:44pm
    Respect and fairness are both malleable terms, and with the advent of the word-changers starting with the feminist lot, many words have come to mean something they never did etc...

    Once upon a time you could respect a person of integrity etc... now you are obliged to respect a street gang or they'll beat you up.... same thing applies on the intellectual scale - if you don't respect some specified group on demand, you will be knifed... an Aboriginal arrested for break and enter will tell you you're a racist and have no respect.... (yes - I did note that the rate of Aboriginal incarceration had risen 150% since the mawkish apology) ......

    I was considering going back to uni when I finish this house reno.... but I'm not sure I'd survive the PC use of language there nowadays...
    Hoohoo
    17th Sep 2018
    7:26pm
    Word-changers or truth-tellers, TREBOR Robert?

    Universities are obliged to use inclusive language, so watch out! You may even have female professors & lecturers! I might even be one of them. Will you call me a feminazi when you're told to hand in an assignment?
    WideBayMike
    14th Sep 2018
    1:41pm
    I have written the first verse for the new anthem to be sung to Chisels Working Class Man.
    Working hard to make a living
    Bringing shelter from the rain
    Young children left to carry on
    Green and gold in their veins
    Wo oh oh we're a working class clan.
    tia-maria
    14th Sep 2018
    1:48pm
    This young school girl girl is a spoiled brat......... and has no respect for our National Anthem......so she can stay at home and do private lesson with her parents...who also show no respect other wise they would act more like an adult in this case and she is old enough after she leaves school do what she wants than
    Rae
    14th Sep 2018
    1:51pm
    Seeing it starts off " Australians all..." I don't think she has a valid argument.
    Hoohoo
    14th Sep 2018
    7:15pm
    for we AREN'T (ALL) YOUNG OR FREE, Rae
    Tathra
    14th Sep 2018
    1:54pm
    I don`t think anyones mentioned The Song of Australia which when we change to our current anthem was one of the choices. The 2nd verse is great and at the moment very apt, Of droughts and flooding plains.

    No why do have to change it again. We`ll be so mixed up we wont know what to sing. When I started school it was God save the King then he up and died so at 6 I had to learn to sing God save the Queen and now Advance Aust Fair, make up our minds and stick with it I say.
    shirboy
    14th Sep 2018
    2:11pm
    I stay with Advance Australia Fair. Actually didn't realize that it was written by a man by the name of McCormick which was my mother's maiden name.
    Wickedness
    14th Sep 2018
    2:12pm
    As if this was an off the cuff decision by a 9-year-old, the parents have to be behind it in which case they should be the ones to be castigated.
    There should never have been so much publicity for these thrill seekers!
    mancub1967
    14th Sep 2018
    2:14pm
    Having read the remarks below on this issue I am surprised it is receiving so much attention, how many people really know our national anthem, its absolutely ludicrous that it is receiving so much media hype, Hanson and Jones are just parasites in our society, and usually comment to get air time. If you truly believe in patriotism then adopt the American model where they swear allegiance to the flag and country, it wont happen as Australians have never really cared about symbolism, all we see here is useless dialogue on a dead issue.
    KIAH
    14th Sep 2018
    2:14pm
    .
    To all those who applaud this poor misguided child, I hope you do the same when another Muslim child walks out of a school assembly because of something he/she didn't like.
    Captain
    14th Sep 2018
    4:20pm
    Kiah, a very valid comment.
    Julian
    14th Sep 2018
    4:26pm
    Nah...it's a one way street
    Anonymous
    14th Sep 2018
    4:27pm
    Don’t be absurd.
    This girl was making a point about the anthem being unfair to first Australians

    Every issue should be dealt with on its merits
    Its stupid thinking like what you describe that makes people apathetic or fearful for standing up for an obvious miscarriage of justice

    What you say is like saying women shouldn’t have fought for the right to vote because it might lead to aborigines doing the same . Guess what - they were right
    TREBOR
    14th Sep 2018
    4:42pm
    Women didn't fight for the right to vote - here in Oz it was handed to them gratis three years after Universal Male Suffrage came in...

    Talk about toeing the line.... swallowing the official line along with hook and sinker...
    Anonymous
    14th Sep 2018
    4:44pm
    Goes to show Aussies are apathetic unlike our Kiwi cousins
    Anonymous
    14th Sep 2018
    4:46pm
    What about “ Can’t vote for same sex marriage “
    What next - someone will want to marry their cat or the Sydney opera house
    TREBOR
    14th Sep 2018
    6:49pm
    Well... Bill did say that gay etc (alphabet/wheelbarrow) fifteen year olds would suicide unless they had some right to marriage.. and the Greens have a policy of lowering the voting age to sixteen ... ye gods.. it'll be the end of civilisation... all those half-educated and inexperienced twerps telling us all what to do... but they do know everything...
    Hoohoo
    17th Sep 2018
    7:41pm
    I wouldn't be making derisive comments about teenage suicides, TREBOR Robert. Have a heart.

    You straight types haven't heard anything yet - Ecosexuals! They get off in the forest. Now that's taking tree-hugging to an extreme!

    It was on SBS in a series called "Slutever". Quite funny & definitely instructional. Imagine this for Year 5 sex education! What fun! No contraception required! Just carrying on in the naked nature nudey frolic.
    Gra
    14th Sep 2018
    2:42pm
    Advance Australia Fair is OUR National Anthem whether some people like it or not. As indicated by your poll, the majority of people are for it. Do they just expect to change our anthem every time some fools say they don't agree with it? For parents to brainwash their child in to disrespecting our National Anthem is disgusting, to turn the child against it by feeding her misinformation is just plain wrong. Next they will have her wanting to burn our flag.
    Old Geezer
    14th Sep 2018
    3:04pm
    That old rag need burning too as it's time we got a decent one.
    inextratime
    14th Sep 2018
    5:57pm
    What's a 'decent' flag OG ? And what's indecent about the existing one, except personal prejudice ?
    Bakka
    14th Sep 2018
    3:10pm
    By all means acknowledge the right to protest, after all many have died for this "right" (both aboriginal and non aboriginal) However deliberately using a school platform to express this is so wrong . When you first enroll to attend, you or your parents agree to the stated rules ,if you don't like them at that time, then go somewhere else. The parents are to blame for this and have deliberately set this up to maximize and promote their views. WRONG FORUM WRONG PLACE.
    PS: not so long ago we faced another" invasion," thankfully it was not successful. However ever wonder what "protest rights" we may have enjoyed if that turned out differently?
    Old Geezer
    14th Sep 2018
    3:11pm
    No you are just told which school to attend and there is no mention of any rules to be followed.
    TREBOR
    14th Sep 2018
    4:54pm
    Them rules is called social standards - there are things you do and things you just don't - you don't steal cars.. you don't rob old ladies.... you don;t refuse to honour the nation that you live in which gives you the right to have a dissenting view with respect for others and institutions.

    We salute the rank, not the man...
    Hoohoo
    17th Sep 2018
    7:59pm
    There is not a stated rule that says we must stand for the national anthem, as far as I know. The "social standards" you refer to TREBOR, are always set by the dominant culture. It doesn't mean those in the dominant culture have more right to enforce their standards on anyone else. Why conflate respect for the anthem with stealing cars or robbing old people? Our laws already cover that - stealing anything from anyone is against the law.

    The standard of mutual respect is the most important standard, in my opinion. In respect to our history, the anthem is untruthful. I find the tune is very uninspiring.

    Quite a few people on this forum agree with me, that the words & tune of our anthem are woeful. Yet they wish to retain the anthem because they don't want to show disrespect or upset (mainly older) people. I think that's fine. It shouldn't stop us from having a respectful debate about the issues that the anthem raises.
    Bakka
    14th Sep 2018
    3:17pm
    Must be different in Brisbane, Checked with our grad kids state school on Gold Coast and there certainly are rules governing behavior and obedience , though do dislike that word.
    Mercury3640
    14th Sep 2018
    3:20pm
    We're talking about a nine year old child; not one of those 'children' who smash up detention centres, invade homes, hijack cars, hit people with hammers etc. Either she was brave in asserting her beliefs or she was being used by her parents or others. Either way it is totally wrong to vilify her. Are Alan Jones, Mark Latham or Pauline Hanson noted for high principals either by themselves or while under the control of others! To get back on subject the anthem was chosen from a short list by less than 50% of the voters. I argue that the anthem is a mediocre tune with terrible words but probably we just have to live with a poor choice. 'we are young and free' what does this mean? We are by no means a young nation comapared with the over 200 that now exist. Most of Africa, the Middle East, the Balkans, Central America, parts of Europe and the Pacific Nations have younger nations than Australia. 'girt by sea' - really! However, to be fair, writing a national anthem that is not jingoistic and/or ridiculous is not easy. A final comment; if the girl had been a identified as a lesbian or a Muslim I bet her critics would not have been as brave.
    inquisitive
    14th Sep 2018
    3:28pm
    I would like to know whether not standing for the national anthem was her own decision, or whether there was encouragement from home. If it was on her own instigation then I think that she is a very brave young lady and I admire her courage. I bet she is not a mark for the bullies, but would give as well as she gets. However, this was not the best way to solve the argument. THE POWER OF THE PEN IS MIGHTIER THAN THE SWORD.
    Old Geezer
    14th Sep 2018
    3:32pm
    Except very few if any read the power of the pen these days so actions speak a lot louder than mere words.
    Simplelife
    14th Sep 2018
    4:39pm
    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!!!
    Justsane
    14th Sep 2018
    4:49pm
    I must say I did/do like 'God save the Queen'. It has simple, yet powerful lyrics and music. I fully understand that it is not everyone's cup of tea, but it is a good song - and since the Queen is now 92 - it worked!
    Old Geezer
    14th Sep 2018
    5:00pm
    Remember only the good die young.
    Anonymous
    14th Sep 2018
    7:18pm
    Let’s embalm the queen would be a better choice of lyrics
    Hoohoo
    17th Sep 2018
    8:05pm
    Justsane, it's an absolutely awful song! Such a British, stodgy tune with no nuance or beauty at all. If I were the Queen, I wouldn't changed the tune.
    Hoohoo
    18th Sep 2018
    5:50pm
    I meant to say,
    If I were the Queen, I would've changed the tune.
    Anonymous
    18th Sep 2018
    5:55pm
    Glad you're not the Queen. You have some silly ideas
    BillF2
    14th Sep 2018
    5:41pm
    Australia, like many other 'western' nations is well on its way to becoming a totalitarian state, and unthinking conformity, as promoted by media commentators and politicians,is becoming the norm. Therefore, Harper Nielsen's protest is refreshing, as it shows that even young people are still thinking for themselves, and still have some idealism - something that many older people have forsaken. Unfortunately the protest was unwise - one of the shortcomings of youth. It would have been better if her parents could have directed her energy into better ways of expressing her views, and which might be more effective.
    I agree with OG that the national anthem is bland and puerile, but Waltzing Matilda was politically too close to the bone to be accepted. The Seekers song is a sanitised version of Australian history, which may be more acceptable if we have to make a change.
    However, all this flag-wrapping and chest thumping (like the Yanks) does not make a nation. It is the mental and spiritual attitude of the people to help and serve each other - to work in unity - that matters, and binds people together. Flags and anthems may be symbols, but they should never be worshipped or held sacrosanct. One only has to look at countries run by dictators to realise that they mean little or nothing.
    I only hope that Harper is not discouraged by the 'Big Brother' reaction to her protest, and that she continues to think for herself and holds on to her idealism.
    Old Geezer
    14th Sep 2018
    6:23pm
    Unfortunately we are becoming more like Americans. However I hope we never get to worship the military like they do and that is simply glorifying war and the nations dominance upon other world nations. It was one of the things that upset me most about America.
    Jim
    14th Sep 2018
    6:32pm
    A 9 year old making this decision all by herself really does anyone believe this, it’s the same as all of these crazy parents who take their young children on protest rallies, I agree with the main point that this young child shouldn’t be bullied, I think her parents need to have a good look at themselves, does anyone out there remember when they were 9 years old, I know I certainly wasn’t thinking about anthems or any other politically motivated stance, children are having their childhood taken away from them by the stupidity of people old enough to know better.
    ghoti
    14th Sep 2018
    6:52pm
    Judging from most of the comments on this site, we're apparently "young and free" but not free enough to disagree with the majority.
    Jim
    14th Sep 2018
    7:03pm
    I think children should be allowed to be children, life passes us by very quickly, I do not believe for one minute that this child made this decision of her own accord, it smells like an adult putting ideas into a young head, wonder what the agenda is!
    the_Albert
    15th Sep 2018
    2:45pm
    Jim, I don't believe for one minute that you know whether this child made this decision of her own accord - yet you utterly condemn her for it. And no doubt you want nine-year-olds to be obedient - yet if, as you believe, she's obeying her parents you utterly condemn her. When I was a young feller I refused to stand for the NA (and would occasionally get flack for it on the grounds I was being unpatriotic and a trouble-maker and had no respect for established institutions) - that was God Save the Queen. If you had your way you would presumably outlaw and punish dissent - so nothing would ever change, or at least public opinion expressed symbolically would not be a factor in the process. And you want children to be children, behaving like children despite going to school to learn how to grow up, and you reject the idea of adults (parents, teachers, politicians ...) putting ideas into their heads (where are they to get their ideas from? To whom should they be obedient?).
    Micha
    14th Sep 2018
    7:20pm
    Seems to me a couple of brat parents wanted THEIR moment of fame, so they are living it through their little kid. There are rules, keep them or do not go to that institution. The teachers said she could leave the hall, but that did not appeal to her, because mom and dad must have told her to stand up and fight for what she believes.

    What we are seeing is two adults teaching a child to disobey authority. Sure you can protest, sure you can have beliefs, that's good, but blatant disregard for rules is not on.

    On a personal note, if you are not happy with your country, bugger off and leave the rest of us to enjoy it. I like our flag, I like the national anthem (not saying a few words can't be changed here and there), but take pride in what we have.
    Anonymous
    14th Sep 2018
    7:27pm
    Spoken like a tru blu bogan
    ph
    14th Sep 2018
    9:02pm
    there can be a lot to like about a country, but that doesn't mean there would be nothing that could't be improved.
    Your comments are making a lot of assumptions.
    Children today are very worldlywise and have not only minds of their own, but the courage to say they're beliefs outloud.
    I do not want to live in a country that assumes children do not, and cannot have a voice. After all, the future will be their world. Not us, we will be long gone.
    I would want to live in a place that encourages children to speak theur minds, however I might not like what they say.
    Not that I disagree with this child.
    ph
    14th Sep 2018
    9:02pm
    there can be a lot to like about a country, but that doesn't mean there would be nothing that could't be improved.
    Your comments are making a lot of assumptions.
    Children today are very worldlywise and have not only minds of their own, but the courage to say they're beliefs outloud.
    I do not want to live in a country that assumes children do not, and cannot have a voice. After all, the future will be their world. Not us, we will be long gone.
    I would want to live in a place that encourages children to speak theur minds, however I might not like what they say.
    Not that I disagree with this child.
    ph
    14th Sep 2018
    9:02pm
    there can be a lot to like about a country, but that doesn't mean there would be nothing that could't be improved.
    Your comments are making a lot of assumptions.
    Children today are very worldlywise and have not only minds of their own, but the courage to say they're beliefs outloud.
    I do not want to live in a country that assumes children do not, and cannot have a voice. After all, the future will be their world. Not us, we will be long gone.
    I would want to live in a place that encourages children to speak theur minds, however I might not like what they say.
    Not that I disagree with this child.
    Sparkles
    14th Sep 2018
    7:43pm
    Surely, nine year olds should be still enjoying the innocence of childhood. There is plenty of time, as an adult, to engage in serious debates. Let’s face it, when you reach maturity, due to life’s experiences, so often views change.
    ph
    14th Sep 2018
    7:54pm
    Smarter than the average, and braver than most, this young girl. "It's your duty to protest when it is a sin to be silent". Shame on the supposedly adult people who bullied her.
    Jim
    14th Sep 2018
    8:49pm
    So you are convinced this child of 9 years of age made this decision all on her own, and it’s her duty to protest, and if she doesn’t she is being sinful, strange outlook, I think the sin lies somewhere else, and with someone much older.
    Anonymous
    14th Sep 2018
    9:01pm
    after reading all these comments, is it any wonder this once beautiful country so envious looked on by the rest of the world is going down the shute faster then a cyclone, for parents to set up their children to do the job they are not game enough to do themselves is nothing more then children's abuse and should be treated as such as for all the other comments, the child is brave, smart, only the good die young or the ultimate insult by one of contributors about our FLAG, "the old rag needs burning" I just say, you lot deserves everything that is coming to you, my apologies to those who stood up for our great country, AUSTRALIA, your hope is my hope that one day those who trample our great country will see the light and if not will leave our land as they don't deserve living here, to the one who ask what has this great country come to, just look at the inhabitants who take such a great delight in taking our country down at every opportunity and as for myself I found the name given to me by the likes of labor mick, indentical tremor, know nothing at all, etc a delight and be now known as heemsjerk, love it!!!!!!
    ph
    15th Sep 2018
    9:19am
    It is a quote by Abraham Lincoln.

    14th Sep 2018
    9:06pm
    thanks to labor mickie, trebor etc, I have accepted your gift of calling me heemsjerk, love the name, heemsie xxx
    Dot
    14th Sep 2018
    9:07pm
    The kid doesn't know what's up her arse let alone about the Australian Anthem. The parents have put her up to it and the media being the media couldn't help themselves by promoting this little brat.
    Reagan
    14th Sep 2018
    9:33pm
    " leave her alone"- some of the senior cits on here say. I bet when you created havoc you got a clip around the ear, from your father or one of the neighbours. So you've gone all mod cons now? You encourage a kid to break all the rules you weren't allowed to break? What fun, it's not your child or grandchild, you don't have to deal with the fallout. THIS IS NOT about the flaming anthem, it's about a kid being told by her parents to break the rules. This is what she said to ch 9 "Of the punishment, the young girl said, "I felt like they were trying to take my power away and that made me feel a bit upset because everything that I fight for is for equality and for equal power for everyone."

    Take her power away, now don't tell me that's not straight out of the mouths of the parents.
    Anonymous
    14th Sep 2018
    10:32pm
    Wow - the haters and the dinosaurs are really coming out on the town on this one
    Jim
    14th Sep 2018
    11:03pm
    No it’s not the haters that are coming out, it’s idiots that think that this is the work of a 9 year are old, the child shouldn’t be getting abused by anyone, but I am not so sure about the parents, the little girl should be enjoying her childhood not voicing her parents beliefs, you reckon the parents didn’t know this was going to cause problems for their little girl?
    Alan
    15th Sep 2018
    12:22am
    She has the hallmarks of becoming a real brat! Australia has a single country is young. I do not deny for one moment that there were many aboriginal nations occupying the continent that is called Australia or that their culture is an ancient one and one which suited the land but it is only since 1900 that we have been a single country.



    All schools have rules and the young girl in question seems to think that the system must change to accommodate her desires given that she has refused alternative suggestions from the school to deal with her problem with the national anthem.
    Meccapah
    15th Sep 2018
    12:35am
    These are the words of the parents parroted by the child! Leave our Anthem alone, it's beautiful the way it is!
    Needy
    15th Sep 2018
    12:59am
    This topic has been argued about for years. I believe that if we allow people to not stand for Australia’s National Anthem then we are allowing this country to be disrespected. It could lead to many remaining seated, maybe they could be too lazy to stand or many other reasons, but it is the National Anthem and we must show respect that is due. Everyone must stand to show respect but if you don’t like the words just remain quiet and think of this beautiful country where you live.
    Anonymous
    15th Sep 2018
    1:08am
    Even if the national anthem disrespects the first Australians ?
    Sorry to tell you this oh needy one , but the majority of the people who matter disagree with you
    BruserSnr
    15th Sep 2018
    1:50am
    Anyone not willing to honour the country in which they live, should leave. Go somewhere they appreciate. As the girl is so young, me suggestion would apply to her parents. If such families were to leave, we would all be happy.
    Anonymous
    15th Sep 2018
    2:39am
    They love and care for the country enough to want to change it for the better
    margie
    15th Sep 2018
    8:03am
    Are we going to make changes everytime someone doesn't like something, this is one child who I personally believe is mummy and daddy's little mouthpiece. Perhaps instead of finding meanings in words that don't exist and were never intended, she and her family could donate their time in outback Australia and do something constructive as they are so concerned with the perceived insults directed at the aboriginals.
    cat
    15th Sep 2018
    8:52am
    has anyone heard the whole anthem? Here are the words
    Australians all let us rejoice,
    For we are young and free;
    We've golden soil and wealth for toil,
    Our home is girt by sea;
    Our land abounds in Nature's gifts
    Of beauty rich and rare;
    In history's page, let every stage
    Advance Australia fair!
    In joyful strains then let us sing,
    "Advance Australia fair!"

    When gallant Cook from Albion sail'd,
    To trace wide oceans o'er,
    True British courage bore him on,
    Till he landed on our shore.
    Then here he raised Old England's flag,
    The standard of the brave;
    With all her faults we love her still,
    "Brittannia rules the wave!"
    In joyful strains then let us sing
    "Advance Australia fair!"

    Beneath our radiant southern Cross,
    We'll toil with hearts and hands;
    To make this Commonwealth of ours
    Renowned of all the lands;
    For those who've come across the seas
    We've boundless plains to share;
    With courage let us all combine
    To advance Australia fair.
    In joyful strains then let us sing
    "Advance Australia fair!"

    While other nations of the globe
    Behold us from afar,
    We'll rise to high renown and shine
    Like our glorious southern star;
    From England, Scotia, Erin's Isle,
    Who come our lot to share,
    Let all combine with heart and hand
    To advance Australia fair!
    In joyful strains then let us sing
    "Advance Australia fair!"

    Should foreign foe e'er sight our coast,
    Or dare a foot to land,
    We'll rouse to arms like sires of yore
    To guard our native strand;
    Brittannia then shall surely know,
    Beyond wide ocean's roll,
    Her sons in fair Australia's land
    Still keep a British soul.
    In joyful strains then let us sing
    "Advance Australia fair!"

    Let us have the seekers We are Australians, much more apt and easier to sing and remember the words. By the way I was born and lived in England. When I was high school we had mock elections , I think I was 11 or 12 , to teach us about the electoral system. Stop dumbing down the people of this country. Sometimes children see more than their parents. The 'reality' shows on tv don't help, by now everyone should know they are rigged. Oars you are ignorant, kids see and take in things more literally therefore do understand.
    Old Geezer
    17th Sep 2018
    12:14pm
    Way to complicated for me to even learn the first time.
    Hoohoo
    18th Sep 2018
    5:54pm
    OMG cat, I didn't realise just how awful it really is!

    If I have to sing it, I start with "Australians all eat ostriches..."
    4b2
    15th Sep 2018
    9:17am
    This flag raising and playing the National Anthem is a piece of crap introduced by Deputy Dog Howard. One side of our politics seem to suck up to the USA more than my liking. I cant see them coming to our aid unless it is in their interest.
    Teddyboy.
    15th Sep 2018
    9:44am
    I support Harper. Of course she has listened to her parents but she is the one to make a stand for what she believes. Our current anthem is a load of outdated rubbish and "I am Australian'" would be far more appropriate and relevant.
    That she has been bullied is disgusting but you only have to see where it is coming from.
    Joy Anne
    15th Sep 2018
    10:30am
    NO WHY CHANGE IT. BECAUSE A 9 YEAR OLD SAYS SO AND HER PARENTS WHO HAVE ENCOURAGED HER. WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU ALL TALKING ABOUT. ABORIGINALS ARE EVEN AGAINST YET THAT IS THE REAL ONES. ABPORIGINALS GET MILLIONS FROM OUR GOVT EVERY YEAR.

    15th Sep 2018
    11:29am
    What would those who refuse to stand for the national anthem ever stand for?
    Hoohoo
    18th Sep 2018
    5:56pm
    Australia. The true Australia.
    JAID
    15th Sep 2018
    11:31am
    Anthems are ditties which rouse followers. I cannot see that it matters much what words are used as these are said in a type of fervour. If anybody doesn't care to get involved in the crowd fervour that should be their choice. Crowing about freedom and then enforcing use of crowd mentality to butter us into believing we have it does ring a little facile.

    So no, schools are overstepping by requiring respect for an anthem or penance. Nor does it matter much which ditty is the nations anthem or whether it mentions this mob of earlier Australians or that.

    I would probably stand and sing it whatever it may be and whenever. Were we a republic and were God Save the Queen it even that would be fine by me whether I believed in the existence of one or the role of the other or not.
    john
    15th Sep 2018
    12:18pm
    The flag is our history, the anthem is fine, but I am Australian is really good too, any one from any nation anywhere on this earth should stand and show respect for their country and anthem and flag, FULL STOP!
    WHEN YOU DON'T INDIVIDUALLY YOU BEGIN TO LOSE, LOTS AND LOTS OF THINGS.
    john
    15th Sep 2018
    12:20pm
    MAGGIE SHE'S A CHILD WHAT IF HER IDEAS AND HOW SHE GOT TO THEM WERE WRONG OR INFLUENCED BY MUM AND DAD?????
    john
    15th Sep 2018
    12:30pm
    Hoohoo you have gone past the argument, the words were probably not thought out well and probably without one indigenous Australian even considered, that is a fault of time, words can be changed, but there are several hundred first nations in this country, so as each tribe they may have a recognition of that, but as Australians and we are all meant to be that are we not, because it will never go back to what it was 200 years ago, never has in history and never will, we must all be us, black white or who ever you are that comes here. If we change the words fine, the flag is history, OURS everybodies!!!!! And for us to be a single people we have ALL OF US!!! start to become one instead of a multi cultured mix of dissention and trouble , and you know what for all immigrants join in or don't come, to indigenous people we understand you are the first , but we cannot change history yours or ours, in white Anglo Celtic history our race has been invaded over 2000 years or more , more times than you've had breakfasts, its time we were just all Australians, the world has to move forward the past is dead and gone.
    Remembering in respectful ways the first Nations and acknowledging them is fine, but we've all got to be us.
    We might have some peace then

    And the Australian government should never ever allow congregation of different races of migrants it should be a LAW that they integrate totally, LAW!!! NO ENCLAVES AT ALL!
    BruserSnr
    15th Sep 2018
    1:29pm
    Love it or loathe it, the National Anthem is just that - Our National Anthem. You may not like the words, lyrics, content, etc., but it represents us as a proud nation. It symbolizes all we've worked and fought for. If anyone has a problem with the Anthem, they have a choice - find another country whose anthem they like. This way, the patriots will haveall of the issues they can relate to. 'Knockers' and 'dissenters' will have a 'Song' they can dance to. Win - Win.
    Now for the catalyst for this debate. The idea may be the 9 year old girl's or not. If the idea was hers, she should be made to 'tow the line' (as others have put it). If it was an idea of her parents (or other adult), all I can say is how dare they use her as a pawn to their own end? If the latter is the case, the comments of my last paragraph applies.
    Troubadour
    15th Sep 2018
    2:16pm
    The National Anthem does not need to change - its peoples attitudes that need to change and the word RESPECT be taught in our Schools.
    The words of our Anthem are fine and does relate to our fine country both as it was and as it is now. I do love I am Australian but it is too long and not quite like an anthem.
    MD
    15th Sep 2018
    5:08pm
    "Georgie Gardner applauded her strength and character and for actually considering the words and meaning behind the anthem, instead of mindlessly “rattling it off”."

    Did she indeed ? - indeed she did. Does anyone understand the complexities of a 9yo mind? Does a 9yo understand the complexities of wording for a nursery rhyme, much less a national anthem ? That this kid feels she has the right to challenge the status quo maybe considered a given by some - very obviously, particularly her parents - but once we start plumbing the depths of these presumed universal 'rights' surely I'm not the only one wonder how deep the downward spiral.

    Once the 'twitterati' got hold of this childish prank - and thereafter the media - the usual claptrap and inane comment followed. Who gives a rats (being polite) what a 9yo thinks? Most 9yo's are expected to toe the line and (in this case their) bloody minded parents should be seen to support the teachers of their children.

    American's have the right to tote guns, their kids have access to guns. Is this the direction we're heading?

    Stupid, stupid, shallow and contentious are adults that seek to promote what amounts to little more than a childish prank.

    15th Sep 2018
    9:11pm
    olbaid , typical comments of a lost soul still grappling between his/her alliance to this country or to the one he/she came from, YOU ARE EITHER AN AUSTRALIAN or you are a trespasser to this country hoping to take advantage of being allowed to live in this country and using this country to improve yourselve regardless of the consequenses or by using their recources to better yourselve without regard of improving the standart of living generally, any wonder AUSTRALIA with contributors the likes of olbaid, labor mickey, tremor, knows a lot? etc is going down the drain faster then the fast train proposed by the labor party, nothing has changed since the time dear old whitlam took over the reigns, next day one could not get a plane out of Australia, they were fully booked, took me 14 days to get a seat to Europe to visit my family yet to-day's contributors to these columns are still engrosed of looking foreward to a labor regime under shorty, god love him, Australia just can't get enough of being the laughing stock of the world or being ripped off by these so-called saviours of this world, those who are adoring the god of the winds anemoi, those of the sun, helios, has to have a female name also, isis, but has anybody asked themselves what if the wind does not blow or what happens during the night when the sun is on the other site of the globe? sorry for my arrogance by just asking a question,
    Anonymous
    17th Sep 2018
    12:10pm
    Who is this poster or imposter with no name ?
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    16th Sep 2018
    6:19am
    There is a right way to lobby for change and a wrong way, and disobeying teachers and creating upset at school is the WRONG way. You can be an independent thinker and a driver for change without being an attention-seeking brat whose antics cause disruptions and deny other children the attention they need to succeed at school.

    As for changing the anthem, I agree the words are not appropriate for today's Australia and ''We are Australian'' would be more suitable, but we must be becoming laughing stock globally with all this chopping and changing. What Australia needs far more than a change of anthem is some unity and patriotism, and some appreciation of what's good about this nation. And frankly, I'm heartily fed up with the whinging and whining of the Indigenous. They have countless millions thrown at them and enjoy amazing benefits, but they do far too little to help themselves. Yes, they were treated very, very badly - and in some respects still are. But white Australia suffered some hideous injustice and torment too. Many of us have ancestors who were imprisoned and enslaved for crimes as small as stealing a slice of bread when they were starving - or for no crime (I know of one case where a poverty-stricken man confessed to a crime to get transported so he could eat!). Immigrants from many countries suffered very harsh treatment. Italians were imprisoned during the war just for being Italian! Goodness, the Chinese immigrants suffered awful treatment. Do you hear them screaming for compensation? They went about making their lives better the best way they could, just as all of have to.

    Hundreds of thousands of white Australian children were stolen from their families, disconnected from their culture, and abused and deprived in childhood. Lots of white Aussies walked hundreds of miles on empty stomachs in the Depression, and lots of families struggled to get by without the breadwinner who gave his life to defend this country in war. The whinging Indigenous would have had a far worse time of it if we'd let the Japs take us over! There probably really would have been total genocide!

    I'm not unsympathetic to those who have suffered injustice or serious hurt - I'm among them, and justice will NEVER prevail for me. But you make your life. And you don't make it a good one by defying authority and making a public spectacle of yourself being disobedient and disrespectful. If you want change, lobby politely and respectfully. By all means, stand up for what you believe in, but in the right place, at the right time, and in the right way.

    What this girl did was wrong, and she deserved to be punished, because she needs to be taught what her parents are obviously failing to teach her - that in school, the workplace, and society as a whole, there are rules and conventions that must be obeyed in order to keep order and allow the system to work. Lots of the rules and conventions are wrong and misguided, but they must be adhered to pending change. Speak out, by all means, but when and where it's appropriate to do so, and in the appropriate manner.


    BTW. I have a friend who is a Jehovah's Witness and she says it's against their religion to sing the Anthem. She goes to the children's school when they enrol and politely explains their beliefs and customs and asks that her children be allowed to stand but not join the singing. Most schools respond by telling the other children about this child's family's beliefs and explaining that the child won't be standing for the singing of the Anthem, but has been given special dispensation because of the family's beliefs. No problem at all. Those kids are admired and respected everywhere because they ARE obedient and respectful and they don't flaunt their beliefs inappropriately, but they DO quietly and respectfully stand up for what they believe in.
    Old Geezer
    17th Sep 2018
    12:13pm
    No wonder we are a society where people complain but do nothing to fix what they are complaining about. What this girl did was right and I wish more people would stand up for what they believe. We would be a better society for all if we got rid of those stupid beliefs that one must not stand out as it's not he done thing.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    20th Sep 2018
    7:53am
    You can't read, OG. Nor can you reason. I specifically said we SHOULD speak out where change is required - BUT IN THE RIGHT WAY, AT THE RIGHT TIME.

    In society, we have laws. In schools and workplaces we have rules. Certain people are empowered to enforce those laws and rules. Whether the laws and rules are right or wrong, and whether the enforcer is wise or ignorant, chaos reigns if the laws and rules can be flouted without consequence. We MUST enforce the laws and rules as they are now, and afford the appointed enforcers respect, in order for things to work.

    That DOES NOT MEAN NOT FIXING THINGS THAT ARE WRONG. It simply means lobbying appropriately for change - not causing disruption.

    We would NOT have a better society for all if we got rid of law and order. We would have a better society for all if people OBEYED the rules and lobbied for change in appropriate ways. It's nothing to do with not standing out. It's to do with having respect for the rights of others and for the system of order that protects those rights.
    Old Geezer
    20th Sep 2018
    11:28am
    If those that enforce the law fail to listen to the people then what is wrong with people rising up against them? If something is very wrong then I do what I can to fix it no matter what others think. I have been labelled a trouble maker numerous times and I just love it as it simply means I am right.
    Annick
    16th Sep 2018
    4:42pm
    I do not like our current national anthem and never have it is obtuse in the lyrics and not inclusive, plus it is hard for everyone to sing,not like 'God save the Queen/King'. In the 21st Century I would much rather 'I am Australian' or 'I still call Australia Home'.
    Dodger
    16th Sep 2018
    11:00pm
    Surprised schools still indulge in that embarrassing and mindless national anthem nonsense that us oldies had to endure as kids.
    Old Geezer
    17th Sep 2018
    12:20pm
    We just changed the words and sang our own words. Maybe kids should do the same today with this mindless nonsense.


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