Should school children be forced to sing the national anthem each day?

Nov 13, 2021
Students all around Queensland may be expected to sing the national anthem once per week. Source: All Hallows' School Brisbane, Instagram.

In a new plan put forward by the LNP, Queensland school students may be forced to take part in singing the national anthem each day. 

In a report by The Courier Mail, at the state’s LNP party council meeting in Gladstone on Saturday, the members were supportive of a “policy that would mandate the singing of the national anthem at the beginning of the school day for all schools.”

Members first wanted students to sing the anthem every day but swiftly pushed it back to once a week. However, according to former state candidate, Pinky Singh, singing the anthem every day would benefit the students by fostering unity, despite race, religion, and gender. 

Maroochydore MP Fiona Simpson mentioned that if students don’t learn the importance of the national anthem during the school year, then there would never be a chance to understand it when they leave school. 

Ms Simpson even expressed shock when she learnt that not all students were singing the national anthem in Queensland schools this year.

“We must ensure our children understand how important it is as part of their national identity and then grow that as citizens,” Ms Simpson said.

However, this isn’t the first time the national anthem has been the centre of political discussion. In early 2019, the anthem came under fire by Aussie author, Nikki Gemmell, who labelled the anthem as ‘whitewashed’ and racist, in her weekly column for The Australian

“… Listen closely to the lyrics and imagine being an indigenous Australian, gleaning meaning from words written by a Scottish Presbyterian schoolteacher, Peter Dodds McCormick, back in 1878,” she wrote.

“His lyrics have been mucked around with ever since, most notably ‘Australia’s sons let us rejoice’ changing to ‘Australians all let us rejoice’, kindly and belatedly including 50 per cent of the population. But the lyrics still aren’t right, are they?”

And those weren’t the only lyrics to change. Earlier this year, Hugh Jackman took to Twitter to ask his followers to listen to the national anthem and notice how the lyrics had changed from ‘we are young and free’ to ‘we are one and free’.

But in December 2020, the national anthem debate was rehashed, as it was sung in two languages at the Wallabies final test. 

Would you support this national anthem mandate?

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