Australian boxing great Anthony Mundine hits out at change to national anthem’s lyrics

Song still promotes a message of ‘white supremacy’, according to the former NRL player

Alex Pattle
Friday 01 January 2021 11:08
Anthony Mundine has been an outspoken critic of the anthem
Anthony Mundine has been an outspoken critic of the anthem

Australian professional boxer Anthony Mundine has criticised the new change to the lyrics of his country’s national anthem, which he says remains a “white supremacy song”.

New Year’s Day saw an alteration implemented in the words of the anthem, following an announcement by Prime Minister Scott Morrison on New Year’s Eve.

Morrison said an agreement had been reached to update the lyrics so as to honour indigenous people, after a recommendation was made by the federal government. 

READ MORE: Australia changes national anthem lyrics to honour indigenous people

As such, the second line of “Advance Australia Fair” has been altered from “For we are young and free” to “For we are one and free” – marking the first change to the anthem since it replaced “God Save the Queen” in 1984.

Morrison said the alteration had been made to reflect the “great unity" among Australians and to “acknowledge and respect” the “stewardship” of First Nations peoples in the country’s history.

But indigenous sporting icon Mundine, a former NRL player turned professional boxer, hit out at the lyric change.

“The anthem one word change isn’t good enough!” the 45-year-old tweeted

“Need to scrap the song & start fresh with bit of black history & white history in a positive light to what our great country is today!

“The core of the anthem is advance Australia white!! Do your own research on it!”

Mundine is also reported by Wide World of Sports as having said in a statement: “It’s always gonna be a white supremacy song until the whole song is rewritten.”

It is not the first time that Mundine has hit out at the Australian national anthem; he previously urged State of Origin players to boycott the song.

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