Wallabies should use Indigenous Advance Australia Fair

Spiro Zavos Columnist

By Spiro Zavos, Spiro Zavos is a Roar Expert

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    I was enjoying my Australia Day breakfast yesterday when I heard Jess Mauboy’s rendition, from the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, of Advance Australia Fair. It was mindblowing.

    She started with the words of the anthem in the local Indigenous language of the peoples of Hawkesbury, Georges and Nepean rivers region. Then she followed with the (revised) verses sung in English, the traditional version.

    Mauboy’s rendition, especially the opening Indigenous language verses, sounded perfect for an Australia in 2016 that is learning to understand and appreciate the special feature of our life and history in this land – its Aboriginal heritage.

    Being a rugby man, I immediately thought of Mauboy’s rendition as perfect to be sung before Tests played by the Wallabies.

    There is one obvious difficulty with this proposal and it relates to the wording of the Aboriginal version. Jess Mauboy is from the Northern Territory. She had to learn the language and the words of the version she sang on Australia Day as it was in a language she did not know.

    If it was to be adopted by the Wallabies, there would have to be a consensus within all the different first nations about a standardised version. I am thinking here of what should be an initiative to incorporate Indigenous verses into the official anthem.

    This is a matter that needs to be resolved, and with goodwill from all groups this should happen. But it may take some time. For the Wallabies, the Mauboy version is probably what should be used this season.

    There has always been something too ‘white bread’ about the usual rendition of Advance Australia Fair before Tests. There is no mention, for instance, in the original anthem of the Indigenous peoples.

    Some years ago, with this in mind, I approached John O’Neill, then chief executive of the ARU, about adding an Aboriginal component to the Wallabies pre-Test theatrics as a way of marking this unique aspect of the Australian experience.

    Nothing came of his efforts. The obvious answer – a form of stylised Aboriginal dance, the equivalent of the haka – was too problematic, unfortunately.

    Some history is needed here to understand why this was so.

    When the Wallabies made their historic tour of the UK in 1908-09 they were required to perform an Aboriginal dance before matches.

    The background to this was that the All Blacks had performed a haka to great enthusiasm during their tour of the UK and France in 1905-06.

    Incidentally, as a response to the All Blacks haka before the Test against Wales, one of the local players started to sing the Welsh national anthem, Land of My Fathers. The rest of the players and then the vast crowd joined in the singing. And, thus, one of the iconic features of Welsh rugby was created.

    The Springboks on their tour of the UK in 1906-07 were required to emulate the All Blacks’ haka, and performed a Zulu war dance before their matches, a ritual they continued into the 1920s.

    So the Wallabies followed this practice on their tour and performed an Aboriginal dance before their matches.

    The captain of the 1908 Wallabies was one of the great men in Australian rugby, Dr Herbert Moran. He understood that the dance was forced on his Wallabies by Australian rugby authorities who wanted a ‘native’ dance from the Wallabies as a form of entertainment for the crowd, like the haka.

    But Dr Moran believed that the treatment of the Aborigines in his time was so disgraceful that he hid behind his players during the dance. And when he returned to Australia he forced the abolition of the dance from the Wallabies’ pre-match repertoire on later tours.

    And with this abolition, there was an end to any reference in the Wallabies culture to the Indigenous people of Australia, even though they and their culture are as much a distinctive feature of Australia life as picking up the ball and running with it is for the rugby game.

    South Africa (and the Springboks) have adjusted to the new South Africa after the release from prison of Nelson Mandela by incorporating verses of the national anthem in Zulu, Afrikaans and English.

    You get a sense of the complexity and traditions of South Africa when this anthem is sung.

    The New Zealand anthem sung before All Blacks matches starts off with verses sung in Maori.

    So my modest proposal for the ARU is to get on the front foot and book Jess Mauboy to sing her version of Advance Australia Fair for the first Test in 2016 against England. Set a precedent.

    And then use this version, with other singers if necessary, for all the other Tests, including the Wallabies’ attempt at the Grand Slam, plus France in November and December 2016 in Europe.

    Spiro Zavos
    Spiro Zavos

    Spiro Zavos, a founding writer on The Roar, was long time editorial writer on the Sydney Morning Herald, where he started a rugby column that has run for nearly 30 years. Spiro has written 12 books: fiction, biography, politics and histories of Australian, New Zealand, British and South African rugby. He is regarded as one of the foremost writers on rugby throughout the world.

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    The Crowd Says (255)

    • January 27th 2016 @ 4:39am
      Darwin Stubbie said | January 27th 2016 @ 4:39am | ! Report

      There is some rose coloured viewing going on in this piece – none more so than …. ‘sounded perfect for an Australia in 2016 that is learning to understand and appreciate the special feature of our life and history in this land – its Aboriginal heritage’ …

      • January 27th 2016 @ 8:40am
        Zero Gain said | January 27th 2016 @ 8:40am | ! Report

        Butt out with your predictable negativity, this is a decision and discussion for Australians to have. Indigenous Australia can steer this ship.
        It’s a great idea, all forms of genuine recognition are valuable. It is long overdue. I would support the idea of an indigenous verse or verses in the national anthem one hundred percent.

        • January 27th 2016 @ 9:27am
          Chop said | January 27th 2016 @ 9:27am | ! Report

          If it’s a discussion for Australians to have, shouldn’t Darwin Stubbie (assuming he’s Australian) be allowed to voice an opinion?

          Is it because he doesn’t agree with you?

          Given the number of indigenous languages still spoken, getting the indigenous community to agree to one dialect might be a more difficult task than getting non-indigenous to accept the verse being incorporated.

          • Roar Guru

            January 27th 2016 @ 10:36am
            The Bush said | January 27th 2016 @ 10:36am | ! Report

            I’m almost certain that DS is a Kiwi…

          • January 27th 2016 @ 11:07am
            Zero Gain said | January 27th 2016 @ 11:07am | ! Report

            The issue of languages is one for indigenous Australians to discuss and decide. If they decide it can’t be done then that is fine but we do not need non-indigenous people to try to shut down the discussion with pre-emptive and basically negative comments.
            As for the view that Australia would ‘never accept it’ (expressed below), I do not accept that argument and believe that there is a large majority of people that would welcome the idea with open arms and minds.

            • January 27th 2016 @ 12:03pm
              Darwin Stubbie said | January 27th 2016 @ 12:03pm | ! Report

              Youve actually not comprehended the point being made

              • January 28th 2016 @ 7:35am
                Ken Catchpole's Other Leg said | January 28th 2016 @ 7:35am | ! Report

                Perhaps Darwin. But assuming you are the same Darwin Stubbie who gets on here regularly to offer GATAR – ‘gratuitous advice to Australian rugby’..( Is this a subject taught in NZ schools?),
                it came as an unsurprising disappointment that the first post on a subject concerning a delicate Australian cultural matter came from a NZer. Know doubt NZers at home and abroad are amongst the most intelligent, culturally aware and humble people on earth.
                But does that indisputable assumption have to be rammed home to dumb, ignorant and arrogant Australians on every friggin Australian rugby thread?
                Seriously aren’t there enough parades in NZ for you to rain on?

              • January 28th 2016 @ 5:50pm
                Darwin Stubbie said | January 28th 2016 @ 5:50pm | ! Report

                … and it appears someone else has missed the point … seriously aren’t you guys all meant to be products of the private school system

              • January 29th 2016 @ 3:55pm
                Johnny Boy Jnr said | January 29th 2016 @ 3:55pm | ! Report

                As gentlemen of the private school system we find it difficult to tolerate the ‘One-Punch public school graduates’ from NZ.

                Did you graduate DS?

              • January 31st 2016 @ 6:39pm
                Ken Cathpole's Other Leg said | January 31st 2016 @ 6:39pm | ! Report

                If many of us are ‘missing the point’ Darwin, maybe that points to the need to make the point clearer?
                Is this a case of ‘shoot the listener’?
                Btw mine was a private school yes but without the resources of basic public schools. (And they favoured the other code of rugby). So probably not the image you have of a privileged GPS school.
                Do they teach ‘assumptions about Australians’ as a subject in NZ schools as well?

              • January 31st 2016 @ 12:55pm
                Zero Gain said | January 31st 2016 @ 12:55pm | ! Report

                No, wrong, I comprehended your point perfectly. A typical negative comment that achieved nothing. An attempt to derail a positive idea by trying to put the focus on the negative. A comment made for the only purpose of being negative about Australia. Typical of you and your ilk.

            • January 27th 2016 @ 6:23pm
              bennalong said | January 27th 2016 @ 6:23pm | ! Report

              Zero gain
              Like so many lefties you cannot tolerate dissent.
              The issue of what you sing at rugby matches has a lot to do with all who love rugby
              It doesn’t take much thought to rule out choosing one tribal language to be used instead of a host of others when nationally there are many different languages

              I’d love a war dance to counter the Haka. We had it at my school along with a war cry.
              Again, however, it was Koori…… OK for Sydney but the Murrays might object .
              You know those Queenslanders!

              • January 27th 2016 @ 8:33pm
                Boomeranga said | January 27th 2016 @ 8:33pm | ! Report

                I think he’s just sick of kiwis being negative towards Australia and he’s giving it back.

              • January 27th 2016 @ 9:01pm
                redbull said | January 27th 2016 @ 9:01pm | ! Report

                Murris

            • February 5th 2016 @ 3:51pm
              wardad said | February 5th 2016 @ 3:51pm | ! Report

              You should be a bit careful about deciding who can have input on this , although I am a Kiwi my kids are Kamilleroi like their mother . I reckon that something that affects my kids like a unified language allows me to at least comment on the NZ Maori experience and how some aspects may apply to the indigenous Australian language .
              My kids Mum and Nanna has talked about this in the past and how difficult it would be to have an Indigenous language only TV station like in NZ with the huge number of not only regional dialects but also totally different languages from one tribe to the next .Take the word “Barramundi ” it can mean anything from ‘big scaled fish ‘ to ‘big silver/shiny fish ‘ or just ‘big fish ‘ let alone referring to lates calcarifer or barra as we know it .
              With Maori being more or less a unified language it means its easier to put into a school curriculum too .
              I would love to see any version of the anthem that includes an Indiginous component .

        • January 27th 2016 @ 11:03am
          Darwin Stubbie said | January 27th 2016 @ 11:03am | ! Report

          Did consider a reasoned response .. but you’re actually not worth engaging with …

          • January 27th 2016 @ 11:10am
            Zero Gain said | January 27th 2016 @ 11:10am | ! Report

            “Get stuffed”, nice one mate. If you care for our indigenous peoples why don’t you try to make a positive contribution?

            • January 27th 2016 @ 11:16am
              Darwin Stubbie said | January 27th 2016 @ 11:16am | ! Report

              Just seen this ..( after my amendment).. you have no idea what contribution i make ..

              • January 27th 2016 @ 11:30am
                Zero Gain said | January 27th 2016 @ 11:30am | ! Report

                I have seen it on here, so I have some idea…

              • January 27th 2016 @ 11:59am
                Darwin Stubbie said | January 27th 2016 @ 11:59am | ! Report

                What ? .. I’ve never discussed my work on here so I dont see how you have an insight into what form my contribution to indigenous Australia takes …

          • January 29th 2016 @ 1:59pm
            Johnny J-Dog said | January 29th 2016 @ 1:59pm | ! Report

            I help the indigenous people more than all of you combined so I think that gives me the moral superiority to say whatever I want.

      • January 27th 2016 @ 1:31pm
        Pedro the Maroon said | January 27th 2016 @ 1:31pm | ! Report

        My problem with the anthem is that its such a crap tune. No amount of singing it in another language is going to dress it up as anything other than a terrible dirge. No crescendo, no hairs standing up – it just has zero “gut punch.”

        • January 27th 2016 @ 3:51pm
          northerner said | January 27th 2016 @ 3:51pm | ! Report

          This is true, but other than the French and maybe the American national anthems, most others are equally dire.

          • January 30th 2016 @ 2:51pm
            mace 22 said | January 30th 2016 @ 2:51pm | ! Report

            The home unions bar england have three of the best anthems with the welsh being the best. At the top of my bucket list is to go to cardiff to hear ” land of my fathers ” at millennium stadium.

        • February 5th 2016 @ 3:54pm
          wardad said | February 5th 2016 @ 3:54pm | ! Report

          Pretty 19th century innit ?
          Who is Gert and why do they live by the sea?

          • February 5th 2016 @ 5:05pm
            Alex said | February 5th 2016 @ 5:05pm | ! Report

            That would be girt wouldn’t it? Just sayin’

            • February 6th 2016 @ 12:35am
              wardad said | February 6th 2016 @ 12:35am | ! Report

              Kidding ,I know Gert personally .Just sayin.

      • Roar Rookie

        January 27th 2016 @ 9:42pm
        Die hard said | January 27th 2016 @ 9:42pm | ! Report

        I have to agree with you DS. I have worked on many issues over the years and especially still today concerning injustice, marginalisation, poverty and opportunity and I would love to see some understanding, let alone appreciation of our Aboriginal heritage. The invasion day parades are getting bigger and bigger each year which is heartening in terms of visibility of causes and historical pre-conceptions but we have much further to go before we can claim any special appreciations.

        The government this year wanted to re-settle some Aboriginal communities into marginal towns on the basis their isolation was a lifestyle choice.

        • January 28th 2016 @ 1:46pm
          ebop said | January 28th 2016 @ 1:46pm | ! Report

          Good post Die hard

          • January 29th 2016 @ 1:58pm
            Johnny J-Dog said | January 29th 2016 @ 1:58pm | ! Report

            Great post DH. I so agree with everything you just said. Way to go. You rock.

    • January 27th 2016 @ 4:57am
      ben said | January 27th 2016 @ 4:57am | ! Report

      White australia cant and wont accept this.
      Look at the anti aboriginal sentiment at the idea of teaching their culture as part of the school curriculum like Maori is in NZ.
      There will be every reason proferred “why not”.
      I understand their are hundreds of different aboriginal dialects.
      But so to are their many native languages in sth africa and many different maori dialects. Yet both countries have multi lingual anthems.
      It was only in the late 70s that aus got rid of its whites only immigration policy…certainly in most of our lifetime. The world said nothing.
      Equal rights and acceptance of past and recent wrongs toward their native people along with an anthem incorporating their language…just pie in the sky in australia. The lucky country..only for some.

      • January 27th 2016 @ 8:12am
        Tigranes said | January 27th 2016 @ 8:12am | ! Report

        The question is which language would you use – would a person of Aboriginal descent living in NSW be comfortable with the languages used by those living in Arnhem Land or FNQ?

        The Maori language is actively promoted in NZ schools (and has been done do for many years) and largely the Maori language common across NZ. This is assisted by the fact the Maoris were a lot more unified than Aboriginals – they were in NZ for a few hundred years (therefore they didn’t have the time to diverge into separate language groups), they have their own monarchy, plus they were a lot more warlike and aggressive towards British colonialists than the Aboriginals were.

        In South Africa, the most commonly spoken black African languages are Zulu and Xhosa by far, even by those who are neither Zulu nor Xhosa (and Zulu is a lot easier to speak and understand). Afrikaans is spoken as a 1st language by the Boers and Coloured (roughly 15% of the population), English is taught in all schools. I don’t see Venda and Sotho people complaining about the South African national anthem.

        India has even more official languages than South Africa (and far more people).

        • January 27th 2016 @ 1:36pm
          Akari said | January 27th 2016 @ 1:36pm | ! Report

          It is a myth that the Aboriginals were not just as aggressive against the British colonialists as the NZ Maori. But this is a story for another time and for someone better informed to tell.

          I’m with Spiro and look forward to the day when an Aboriginal version of the anthem is sung as part of our national anthem.

          • January 27th 2016 @ 3:37pm
            Wee Willy said | January 27th 2016 @ 3:37pm | ! Report

            The NZ Maori invited the British to defend them against the French. Hence names like Nelson, Trafalgar Park and Marlborough, where France now imports grapes from to make Champagne.

            • January 27th 2016 @ 4:44pm
              nickoldschool said | January 27th 2016 @ 4:44pm | ! Report

              I sincerely doubt french champagne is made from kiwi grapes! The label ‘Champagne’ is now one of the most lucrative and controlled one. It guarantees the provenance of the grapes, where and how it’s made. Even other french regions outside the Champagne region can not call their ‘bubbly’ Champagne.

              The excellent grapes which grow in NZ make some very good wines, bubbly etc. But not a single grape can be found in proper Champagne.

            • February 6th 2016 @ 12:38am
              wardad said | February 6th 2016 @ 12:38am | ! Report

              Which Maori did that ? Certainly not my tribe.I dont think old Hone Heke and his boys needed anyone to defend them.

      • January 27th 2016 @ 8:13am
        Chamilla said | January 27th 2016 @ 8:13am | ! Report

        That’s why it’s called the lucky country. If everybody was lucky then there would be no reason for it to be called lucky.

      • Roar Guru

        January 27th 2016 @ 8:50am
        PeterK said | January 27th 2016 @ 8:50am | ! Report

        ben – some more facts.
        The white australia policy was abolished in 1966 NOT late 70’s.

        • Roar Guru

          January 27th 2016 @ 10:40am
          The Bush said | January 27th 2016 @ 10:40am | ! Report

          I don’t think it’s fair to say that it was ever abolished with one fell swoop, rather it occurred progressively over a few decades post WWII, but even if you were going to pick a date, I think most would go with Whitlam’s changes in ’73 as being the “final” dismantling of the policy…

          • January 27th 2016 @ 11:03am
            paty305 said | January 27th 2016 @ 11:03am | ! Report

            Actually I would say that Frasers acceptance of South Vietnamese refugees was the final nail in the coffin for White Australia. Fraser was the first to have Multiculturalism as an official policy of the government.

            • Roar Guru

              January 27th 2016 @ 11:14am
              Machooka said | January 27th 2016 @ 11:14am | ! Report

              Ummm… Harold Holt in 1965 ?

        • January 27th 2016 @ 2:44pm
          ben said | January 27th 2016 @ 2:44pm | ! Report

          Peterk – some more facts.
          Take a look at “fact sheet 8”.
          I studied this topic as my mother originally wanted to migrate from samoa to australia in 1958 as her village wanted her trained as a teacher to return to samoa in that profession.
          Aus refused as she was not white so she came to nz.
          In 1966 Harold Holt passed the immigration act officially stopping the policy.
          In practice though it continued.
          In the 70s Gough Whitlam made a law “totally disregarding race” when deciding potential immigrants as the immigration act had not prevented the continued practice.
          It wasnt until 1978 that any sign of the practice of race considerations were completely abolished when immigration was considered.
          It wasnt until Malcolm Frasers govt that large numbers of non whites were able to migrate to aus..free from race considerations.

          • Roar Guru

            January 27th 2016 @ 2:56pm
            PeterK said | January 27th 2016 @ 2:56pm | ! Report

            Fact remains that the policy was officially abolished in 1966, the rest is supposition and guesswork.

            • January 27th 2016 @ 3:04pm
              ben said | January 27th 2016 @ 3:04pm | ! Report

              No its not supposition or guess work.
              But obviously you dont want to accept it.

            • January 27th 2016 @ 11:20pm
              soapit said | January 27th 2016 @ 11:20pm | ! Report

              not sure thats what supposition and guesswork means

              • Roar Guru

                January 27th 2016 @ 11:32pm
                PeterK said | January 27th 2016 @ 11:32pm | ! Report

                the original statement was that it was the late 70’s that aust got rid of its whites only policy and that is factually wrong.

                Sure after Holt in 66 got rid of it some dinosaurs resisted, so what that happens with every law change.

              • January 28th 2016 @ 4:34pm
                soapit said | January 28th 2016 @ 4:34pm | ! Report

                and required further legislation to get rid of

      • January 27th 2016 @ 1:27pm
        Pedro the Maroon said | January 27th 2016 @ 1:27pm | ! Report

        Why can’t the Wallabies do that “spear dance” that Adam Goodes performed last year after he scored a goal?
        I thought it was a wonderful display of our culture, heritage and history and it ticked all the boxes as a perfect response to the AB’s haka.
        Are other rugby teams allowed to do a challenge or is only the ABs? Are they a protected species in this regard?
        Oh wait I forgot – there are those who thought Adam Goodes was being offensive and there were some on Alan Jones’ radio show who found it threatening and they became scared when witnessing his celebration.

        • Roar Guru

          January 27th 2016 @ 2:24pm
          The Bush said | January 27th 2016 @ 2:24pm | ! Report

          The PI’s do their war dances at the same time as the Haka when playing the All Blacks. That is actually the point of them…

        • January 27th 2016 @ 2:51pm
          ben said | January 27th 2016 @ 2:51pm | ! Report

          Pedro..you obviously dont follow much rugby..Fiji has the cimbi…tonga the sipi tau, samoa the siva tau. All their own versions of their own “haka”…all done pre match.
          Impressive when each play each other.
          So no, the all blacks are not a protected species.
          Whats the saying? “A little knowledge .. …….”.

        • February 6th 2016 @ 12:46am
          wardad said | February 6th 2016 @ 12:46am | ! Report

          Maori and their culture are far more integral to NZ society which is why the ABs performing the Haka and the Armed Forces of NZ are not seen as being disrespectful even though not all are of Maori descent .
          But I know that many Indigenous Aussies would not be happy seeing others using parts of their culture in the same manner.

    • January 27th 2016 @ 4:57am
      Not Bothered said | January 27th 2016 @ 4:57am | ! Report

      Change the flag and change the anthem.

      NZ should do the same.
      I like the tune of NZs anthem but not the words.

      and please, dont say “my grandfather fought and died for that flag” because he didnt, he fought and died for completely different reasons and to be quite honest, the flag had nothing whatsoever to do with it.

      • January 27th 2016 @ 5:10am
        ben said | January 27th 2016 @ 5:10am | ! Report

        Yep…im all for changing nzs flag. The current one is all about nzs ties with britain….what ties?
        Its has no representation of our polynesian heritage or culture or people.
        I like the new one that was voted for. That one does.
        …and you are right not bothered. Especially the rsa keep going down that road of lived and died fighting for the flag. Nonsense.
        Our war graves all have the silver fern on them not the flag.
        I did my fair time in the military. Never for the flag or for some pommy queen.
        For my country and my people.

        • January 27th 2016 @ 8:14am
          Chamilla said | January 27th 2016 @ 8:14am | ! Report

          You’re a real trooper.

      • January 27th 2016 @ 11:24am
        Zero Gain said | January 27th 2016 @ 11:24am | ! Report

        I think the NZ anthem in dual languages is a beautiful thing. But if Kiwis wan’t to change it that is up to them. I can easily understand why they might want the flag changed, for one thing, it is so similar to ours. I like the proposed version with the black and white silver fern.
        I would change ours by including what is commonly referred to as the Aboriginal flag where the Union Jack is, changing the blue background to white and keep the Southern Cross. But there are unlimited opinions and possibilities on this. That is just mine.

        • January 27th 2016 @ 12:44pm
          soapit said | January 27th 2016 @ 12:44pm | ! Report

          seen that change suggested often zg. my personal preference is to have both union jack and aboriginal flag occupying the left side i guess aboriginal on top) and then right side stays the same.

          all for recognising aboriginal history but dont want to go to far and then completely ignore the british aspect to our nation.

          • January 27th 2016 @ 4:50pm
            Birdy said | January 27th 2016 @ 4:50pm | ! Report

            Sorry soapit, if and when we get a new flag it will not have the Union Jack . It would make the whole exercise pointless.

            • January 27th 2016 @ 6:36pm
              soapit said | January 27th 2016 @ 6:36pm | ! Report

              im sure ur right, ive not seen any suggestions for new flag which keep the uj in any form.

              i guess people that typically want a new flag are pretty keen for a republic and want to distnce oz from britain. the motives for a new flag are probably less about including aboriginals and more about forging a new identity separate from britain. to me tho it shouldnt preclude acknowledging our past, particularly if we’re are going to to it with other aspects of our past but i’m not the strongest nationalist.

              • January 27th 2016 @ 7:00pm
                Birdy said | January 27th 2016 @ 7:00pm | ! Report

                Soapit,
                If and when we become a republic, then and only then should we consider a new flag.
                My own opinion on a new flag is that it should reflect the whole country past and present , aboriginal and future inhabitants . It should not set out to distance ourselves from Britain but should show us to be uniquely Australian.

              • January 27th 2016 @ 7:12pm
                soapit said | January 27th 2016 @ 7:12pm | ! Report

                wouldnt mind modifying the flag without the republic, particularly as perhaps an interim change to simply add the aboriginal in the vacant corner.

                agree it should reflect the whole country. perhaps i am speaking too much from my british ancestry perspective. not always straightforward to see others perspective. devil will be in the detail which is why it’ll be pretty difficult to change (especially now the southern cross itself has been hijacked).

              • January 27th 2016 @ 7:26pm
                Birdy said | January 27th 2016 @ 7:26pm | ! Report

                I’m 7 th gen Australian with Scottish Irish and German ancestry. Both convict and free settlers.
                I think I’m more of a republican than Malcom Turnbull , but guess what , my son is 25 , and 8th gen Australian he shares your views .
                That’s why we are the lucky country.

      • February 6th 2016 @ 12:47am
        wardad said | February 6th 2016 @ 12:47am | ! Report

        Kiwis and Aussies for the most part carried the red ensign into war zones ,rarely into battle.

    • January 27th 2016 @ 5:10am
      Nick said | January 27th 2016 @ 5:10am | ! Report

      It’s the enduring question. Will Australia ever actually, genuinely want to embrace the “other” culture that defines it?

      It’s a dinosaur in that respect, there’s a token referencing of it and occasionally some political movement but, by and large, the Aboriginal culture and history always has an asterisk beside it for the general population. Deep down, they’d rther everyone forgot about it and focussed on Bradman, Phar Lap (yes, the kiwi horse) and the beach as the defining characteristics of Australia.

      • January 27th 2016 @ 11:26am
        Zero Gain said | January 27th 2016 @ 11:26am | ! Report

        Nah, not at all, totally wrong.

      • January 27th 2016 @ 11:48am
        Basil said | January 27th 2016 @ 11:48am | ! Report

        phar lap did not race a single race in nz. Not one! that makes phar lap a kiwi horse the same way makybe diva is pommy.

        • Roar Guru

          January 27th 2016 @ 1:14pm
          ClarkeG said | January 27th 2016 @ 1:14pm | ! Report

          More than one thing can be true. Yes of course it is true that Phar Lap was an Australian racehorse but it would be crass for one to dismiss the NZ connection in that he was born and bred in NZ and acquired from NZ.

      • Roar Guru

        January 27th 2016 @ 12:09pm
        Rabbitz said | January 27th 2016 @ 12:09pm | ! Report

        The “other culture that defines it”?

        So there are only two cultures that define Australia?

        What about the European cultures? The almost 10% of the population who are of Asian descent? What about those from the African continent?

        All of these culture “define” Australia, not just the 3% of the population that identify as indigenous, nor the historic Anglo majority.

        • January 28th 2016 @ 3:37pm
          Owen said | January 28th 2016 @ 3:37pm | ! Report

          When someone from another country thinks of Australia do they think of Asian people or indigenous people? Who first?

          There is your answer.

          • January 28th 2016 @ 4:16pm
            AndyS said | January 28th 2016 @ 4:16pm | ! Report

            If that is the criteria, they almost certainly think of caucasians. Or Liam Hemsworth. Or Arnold Schwarzenegger.

    • January 27th 2016 @ 5:13am
      ben said | January 27th 2016 @ 5:13am | ! Report

      Yes white australia.

    • January 27th 2016 @ 5:14am
      Nick said | January 27th 2016 @ 5:14am | ! Report

      There’s nothing racist aout this post.

      It is white australia who have directed the history of oppression against the Aboriginal culture and therefore it is white australia to whom these comments should be addressed.

      Remember, the first rule of liable, it’s not slander if it can be proven to be true.

      • Roar Guru

        January 27th 2016 @ 7:49am
        eagleJack said | January 27th 2016 @ 7:49am | ! Report

        I’m not going to add to this discussion as it is far too complicated to dissect and analyse in a few hundred words. Although the idea certainly has merit.

        But good to see Nick on here, usually telling us how bad Australia are at cricket and rugby, move into the realm of culture. Why visit an Australian website on a daily basis if you have such hatred for the country? Although I guess it enlightens your otherwise dull existence. So carry on.

      • January 27th 2016 @ 9:50am
        Kevin dustby said | January 27th 2016 @ 9:50am | ! Report

        Beat it pal, run along and annoy someone else

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