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Freudenberg and Advance Australia Fair – “Inside the Canberra Press Gallery: Life in the Wedding Cake of Old Parliament House” – Rob Chalmers

June 2nd, 2012 · No Comments · Australian Labor Party, Australiana, Culture, History, Music

Graham Freudenberg’s skill as a subeditor played a part in the Fraser Government settling on Advance Australia Fair as the national anthem. Long before Paul Keating initiated the move to a republic, the Whitlam Government decided to ditch God Save the Queen as the anthem, arousing outrage among monarchists and joy among republicans. At the time, the feminist movement—with some influence on the Whitlam Government—had demanded political correctness and terms such as ‘chairman’ and ‘fisherman’ were to be avoided and replaced with ‘chair’ or ‘chairperson’ and ‘fisherperson’. But what to do about the words in Advance Australia Fair: ‘Australian sons let us rejoice’? ‘Australian sons and daughters, let us rejoice’ would be ridiculous. Perhaps only a complete rewrite would accommodate the feminists. Freudenberg removed the gender issue with the simple device of changing one word, ‘sons’, to ‘all’. So we now sing, ‘Australians all let us rejoice’.

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