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Archive for January, 2010

Today is the 26th of January, the day where Australians celebrate what it may mean to them to be Australian.

  • To celebrate an ‘independent’ nation – by waving a flag with the symbol of a foreign power in a prominent place on that flag.
  • To celebrate by singing an anthem – that not many know all (or many) of the words to, and if they knew the full lyrics to the song it came from, it would probably be thrown out in a minute.
  • To celebrate the nation on a day that the indigenous people of the country see as a day of invasion… and a day that happened 198 years before Australia became an ‘independent’ nation.

First – The Flag
I am grateful and proud to be an Australian. I was lucky to have been born into a country of broad freedoms, opportunities, compassion, support, and happiness.

Australia likes to think of itself as a forward looking country, but the Australian flag – the country’s representative symbol, appears to be backward looking. In that, the upper left section of the flag contains the flag of another country – as if the apparently independent country of Australia was a dependent, or dominion of Great Britain.
While Australia was a dominion of England, and the constituent colonies that came together to form the Australian nation, were, like Australia was itself at the time dependencies of England – this is no longer the case in the 21st century.

Australia, a forward looking country, should not have a backward looking flag.

In My Opinion!

Change the flag…

I feel the flag as it is is almost as it might be…
– LoseĀ  the Union Jack, Australia is no longer a dependent or dominion of the UK.
– The star of federation will have an edge of red (not to mimic New Zealand, but) to represent blood spilt in the defense of this country – however one may define defence (in war or during colonisation).
– There being no other country’s flag or other symbol on the flag’s canton (upper left section), the star of federation (representing one united continent) is raised slightly to the central left section of the flag.
– No other changes are necessary. This flag will represent one united country under the Southern Cross – beneath the big sky of infinity – beholding to none.

Second – the Song
When people in Australia sing the national anthem they struggle through the first verse, and not even bothering with the second… Some don’t even know there is a second verse to the national anthem… There is one phase in the first verse everyone knows, and is sometimes a point of mirth – Our home is girt by sea… girt by sea…

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.

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.

But what of the original version of the song this anthem comes from?
Peter Dodds McCormick composed a partiotoc song in 1879.
My question is, is this song more patriotic to Australia or England?

The original lyrics of Advance Australia fair – as composed by Peter Dodds McCormick in 1879.
(http://lachlan.bluehaze.com.au/aaf/aafa.html)

Australian sons, 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 sailed.
To trace wide oceans o’er.
True British courage bore him on.
Til 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.
Britannia rules the wave
In joyful strains then let us sing
Advance Australia Fair.

When other nations of the globe.
Behold us from afar,
We’ll rise to high renown
And shine like our glorious southern star
From English soil and Fatherland
Scotia and Erin fair
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.
Britannia then shall surely know,
Though oceans roll between
Her sons in fair Australia’s land
Still keep their courage green.
In joyful strains then let us sing
Advance Australia Fair.

England’s flag is the standard of the brave – Britannia rules the wave
but advance Australia fair anyway?
From English soil and Fatherland – Scotia and Erin fair
advance Australia fair?

The ‘Beneath our radiant Southern Cross’ verse was not included into the song until early in the 20th century… it was the third verse of the song – and the song was performed at the inauguration of the commonwealth and at the founding of the capital in Canberra.

This song has served its purpose and it is time to put it to rest. Thank you Peter Dodds McCormick for your song, but your song was of your time… not ours.

In My Opinion!

Change the song

The Australian national anthem should not only to be reflective of a country and its spirit – it ought be inspiring and bring a lump to one’s throat….
That song is I Am Australian composed by Bruce Woodley and Dobe Newton

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 shore, I watched the tall ships come,
For forty thousand years I’d been the first Australian.

I came upon the prison ship bound down by iron chains
I cleared 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 bushy, I’m a battler, I am Australian.

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

Finally – The Day
Why is January 26 Australia day?

On 26 January 1788, ships of the First Fleet landed and founded the penal colony of New South Wales. There was not to be an entity known as Australia for another 112 years
Aboriginal people see January 26 as a day of mourning, as the day of invasion.

So if not January 26, then are there any other dates… and why.

July 9
Royal ascent givenĀ  to the Australian Constitution on 9 July 1900.
(who wants a mid winter holiday?)

January 1
Commonwealth of Australia comes into being when the states are federated on 1 January 1901
(what will happen to new year’s day?)

April 25
ANZAC Day – landings at ANZAC Cove, Turkey 25 April 1915
(a national day based on war? and a defeat to boot)

October 9
Australia ratified the Statute of Westminster on 9 October 1942, whose main effect was to remove the ability of the British Parliament to legislate for Australia.
(we were still a dominion)

March 3
The Australia Act becomes law on 3 March 1986. Through this act Australia had the status of a Sovereign, Independent and Federal Nation. The act effectively removed the ability of the British Government to make laws for Australia by abolishing the right of appeal to the Privy Council.
(Independednce under law and in fact)

February 13
The date where the Prime Minister issued an apology to the aborigines for past ill treatment and the stolen generation.
(a national landmark for sure, but not a celebratory national day)

In My Opinion!

Change the day

March 3 could be a better choice for a day to celebrate our nation. A day where all Australians can celebrate being in a sovereign, independent and federal nation – not at the cost of any group or anyone.

January 26 can be celebrated by those in New South Wales, for that day commemorates the founding of NSW –

I want to celebrate Australia – ALL OF AUSTRALIA, not the beginning of white Australia in 1788, but all of Australia through all of its time and all of its people, places, flora, fauna,

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 share a dream,
And sing with one voice,
I am, you are, we are Australian.

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To those who think that 2010 is the tenth year of the first decade of the 21st century, and not first year of the second decade, I present my opinions and arguments thus…

This year is the start of a new decade, as it is a length of time, and time begins with 0… and please don’t give me the 0 AD argument as there was no 0 AD nor was there a 1 AD… Years were not chronologically counted for a few centuries afterward, and extrapolated backward through time… and even then the person who did the calculations got it wrong… so that argument is irrelevant.

So I will have to explain it to you like this:

A decade is a period of time in either personal or cultural life… If a length of time like a decade starts with 1 then babies must be born aged 1, turning 2 the next year, and turn 10 on what ordinarily would be their 9th birthday. But that is totally illogical as people celebrate when a baby turns one year old at the END of the first year, not at the start. If this baby (like a decade) was born at midnight (00:00 – time starts at 0) on January 1 2000, this person would not have been 1 until Jan 1 2001….

It appears to me that your view of a decade is akin to how we see days in a month… For example, today is the 9th of January – or 9 Jan – it doesn’t say how many days in January there have been, just which day in order it is… Just as you say this is the 10th year of the decade (and therefore the century) today would in your concept the 9th of January 2010th… in that there have not BEEN 9 days in January, nor (in your opinion) have there BEEN 10 years in the 21st century

Your concept would mean a 50 year old would still be in their 40s… while the 50 year old may like that idea of still being in their 40s, try telling a 20 year old that they are still a teenager…

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