• no mention of the First Australians
• too redolent of old British Empire attitudes: we have to be better than everyone else, rah rah! (The original version was written in 1878).
• the land is to be owned and used, rather than being a wonder we preserve and a provider we care for and pass on
• the antiquated phrasing (and not just “girt”: “joyous strains”, etc.).
Provoked by an episode of the TV series Redfern Now, in which a young indigenous lad gets into trouble for refusing to sing the official anthem, I conceived the idea that we can just start writing new words. Anyone can have a go, there need be no competition and no prize. If a version catches on, then it might eventually replace the old words, by popular acclaim.
Australia We Share
(Geoff Davies, 30 April 2013;
An ancient land from Rock to sand
A Dreaming old and wise
White, brown and black from other lands
New ways from old arise.
From whips and chains through gold and fleece
Invention, sweat and care
A new refrain to grace the world:
A fair go and fair share.
To Dream together, old and new,
Australia we share.
A wilful land of flood and fire
Of forests lush and tall
Of rivers slow and jewel reef
And creatures fit for all
This land abounds in nature’s gifts
Of beauty rich and rare
From aeons past a heritage
For us to take due care.
We all are now custodians
Australia, we care.
Pingback: New Anthem Words – Australia We Share | Better Nature: commentary by Geoff Davies
Who said that you could bastardise Uncle Harold’s Aboriginal flag? He made it quite clear that noone is allowed to use his design for another flag.
Shame on you.
Dear Nunkeri, thank you for bringing this to my attention. I did not know who designed the Aboriginal flag and I intend no disrespect to Uncle Harold.
As you can see, I did not design the flag above, I just saw it on another site. However it’s true I have displayed it here. I did it with an open heart, feeling that it helps to bring Whitefellas and Blackfellas closer together, through a beautiful design. To me, it incorporates Uncle Harold’s design. It’s true there are some changes, but it’s clearly recognisable as his design, part of a bigger design, that’s the thing I like most about it. We could just put the Aboriginal flag in the corner, replacing the British flag, but that would still keep us a bit separate, it seems to me.
I have been learning more about Yuin culture, where I live, from Uncle Max Dulumunmun Harrison and from Noel Butler. Uncle Max says something like “We’re not going away. Whitefellas are not going away. We need to learn how to move forward together.” That is my wish too. If showing this design is still a problem, I’m open to hearing it.
My partner Julia oversaw the creation of the Dhurga Rock in Braidwood, which acknowledges the First People here. I’ll put up a post about it, under my heading Oz Identity/Indigenous.
The Dhurga Rock page is now at