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By Stewart Perrie
The Wallabies' match against Argentina over the weekend made history when a First Nations language was used to sing part of the Australian anthem.
It was the first time an Indigenous national anthem was used at an international sporting event involving an Australian team.
The singer, Olivia Fox, performed 'Advance Australia Fair' in the Eora language (which is the Aboriginal Australians people of New South Wales) and then did it in English before the Test match began in Sydney.
My kids (the Australians in the family) are now asking if they can learn the words too. To be like their Mum (NZer) and their Dad (South African) who learn all through school to sing their national anthems like this too.
This is a day to be proud of Australia.
- Dr Mya Cubitt (@MyaCubitt) December 5, 2020
Rugby Australia has released the lyrics that were sung.
Australiagal ya'nga yabun
Yarragal Bamal Yarrabuni
Nura mari guwing bayabuba
Guwugu yago ngabay burrabagur
Garraburra ngayiri yabun
People went wild for the moment on social media and some even called for it to be made permanent.
I couldn't stop crying at the significance of this, felt much the same when we sung the NZ national anthem in Te Reo Hopefully it is embraced and sung with passion, love, and respect in future. Well done at an amazing start Australia! Keep going :clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::disappointed::clap:
- Jonaye Griffin (@JonayeGriffin) December 5, 2020
One person wrote on Twitter: "Every time from now on, this is how it should be. Felt proudly Australian during the anthem for once."
Another said: "Wonderful rendition. Especially with guitar. Should be sung this way every game. The first verse could be sung in the language of whichever country the stadium they're playing at is on."
A third added: "The gold standard for our national anthem - may this be a new beginning. And she's a teenager! Well done Olivia Fox for rising to the occasion and gifting us with such a beautiful rendition, and well done Australian rugby."
Each member of the Australian rugby union team sang the dual anthems with gusto after reportedly learning the lyrics earlier last week.
The Australian national anthem has seen many calls in the last few weeks and months for an overhaul.
During NAIDOC week, a time to raise awareness for Aboriginal and Islanders issues and celebrates Australia's indigenous history before European settlers arrived in 1770, there were many who thought a simple change in the lyrics would make the song more inclusive.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian led the charge to get the words 'young and free' to be altered to 'we are one and free'.
Saying that Australia is 'young' is a slap in the face to Indigenous Aussies who have been living on the land for a good 60,000 years, says campaigners.
The Premier told Channel 7's Sunrise: "We have a very proud Indigenous culture of tens of thousands of years on this continent, so I guess to say 'we are young and free' ignores that.
"I just feel hurt for people who don't feel the anthem includes them."
Judging from the reaction at the Wallabies match on the weekend, it looks like there could be a good appetite to change the anthem to include an Indigenous language.
Featured Image Credit: PA
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