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Letter to The Editor - Gough Whitlam tried it forty-five years ago;
To The Age Tampering with our admittedly mediocre national anthem at this time is unlikely to produce a widely accepted model ("Words matter: push for anthem rejig", 14/9). For example, Recognition in Anthem Project's latest offering clearly says too little about the British contribution in the founding of our nation. As for the presently used version's word "young", this refers to our nation and not to human existence on this continent, which means that it is not necessarily inappropriate. Substituting the word "one" is also unfortunate. At present we are indeed one in terms of constitution and long may that be so; but we are not at all one in our key beliefs about religion, politics, society and the arts; and our many divisions will continue indefinitely. That makes finding a new anthem very difficult. Gough Whitlam tried it forty-five years ago; but nothing suitable turned up. One suspects that the times, not committees, make authentic anthems.
Nigel Jackson, Belgrave