Australia National Symbols: Anthem

Since 19 April, 1984, Australia has had a new National Anthem to play and sing at official functions and ceremonies. The song 'Advance Australia Fair' has replaced the Royal Anthem, 'God Save The Queen' as Australia's National Anthem.

'Advance Australia Fair' was composed by Scottish emigrant Peter Dodds McCormick (1835-1916), who felt very proud of his new homeland Australia. He arrived from Scotland during the 19th century and quickly realized that Australia has treasures of all kinds to be appreciated and cared for. His song 'Advance Australia Fair' was first sung on St. Andrew's Day, 30 November, 1878 in Sydney. Only a few minor changes have been made to the words, to suit the society's needs.

The song was chosen following a national song contest held in 1973 in an attempt to discover a new National Anthem. Not one of the 2,500 entries was considered to be special enough, and eventually, after a referendum in 1977, 'Advance Australia Fair' was selected to become Australia's National Anthem. 'Advance Australia Fair' is played at official functions, opening ceremonies, Anzac Day services, Australia Day functions, football grand finals, school assemblies, Australian Citizenship ceremonies, the Olympic and Commonwealth Games when an Australian has won a medal, and many other special times. The words are:

Australians all let us rejoice,
For we are young and free;
We've golden soil and wealth for toil;
Our home is girt by sea;
Our land abounds in nature's gifts
Of beauty rich and rare;
In history's page, let every stage
Advance Australia Fair.
In joyful strains then let us sing,
Advance Australia Fair.
Beneath our radiant Southern Cross
We'll toil with hearts and hands;
To make this Commonwealth of ours
Renowned of all the lands;
For those who've come across the seas
We've boundless plains to share;
With courage let us all combine
To Advance Australia Fair.
In joyful strains then let us sing,
Advance Australia Fair.