My song, Yil Lull was composed as a dedication to the Aboriginal flag and I believe that it is time — some 43 years after the flag was designed that it should also have a song. I believe the flag unites Aboriginal and Islander people across Australia and my song will give voice to that pride and unity.
I’m not asking for Advance Australia Fair to be replaced but to be played with it just as our flags fly together, so should our anthem — just as South Africa and New Zealand have done in acknowledging its First Peoples.
“When words fail, music speaks”.
By combining the two songs it sends a strong message that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders have much to share with our multicultural society. By honoring both flags within our national anthem, acknowledgement is given that we are respected in our country as the first people, with a culture that spans more than 40,000 years. Music is a universal language and can heal the misinformation and prejudices that exist.
It is time for a change. Our national anthem should reflect our present situation in this great land. The current Anthem states that we are “young and free”. But we are not young. We are at least 40,000 years old. Our country did not start when white people arrived. We need to acknowledge that in our flag and our song so that all Australians can embrace knowledge and understanding of each other.