Mundine's gripe with Indigenous anthem

 

Indigenous NRL star Latrell Mitchell and boxer Anthony Mundine have hit out after history was made at Saturday night's Wallabies Test when the national anthem was sung in two languages for the first time in Australian sport.

Before the Aussies' Rugby Championship clash against Argentina, which ended in a 16-all draw, a spine-tingling rendition of Advance Australia Fair was performed both in English and in the Eora language.

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Olivia Fox, a young singer from the Newtown High School of the Performing Arts, belted out the stirring rendition of the anthem as many rugby fans praised the unique acknowledgment of Australia's Indigenous people.

However, Mundine and Mitchell say just because the language changes, the meaning of the anthem doesn't, and it's still offensive to First Nations people.

"If they want to change things then actually change the words of the anthem," Mundine told The Daily Telegraph. "But you can't just sing the same original text in Aboriginal language and think it's going to fly with people.

"It got people talking but it still ain't the right message. It looks good and sounded good when the Wallabies sung it and it looks like they're giving back - but they're not really giving back.

"The anthem is the theme song for the white Australian policy."

Mitchell also hit out on social media.

Latrell Mitchell wants more to change.
Latrell Mitchell wants more to change.

 

The NRL star says the anthem doesn't acknowledge Indigenous people.
The NRL star says the anthem doesn't acknowledge Indigenous people.

"When will people understand that changing it to language doesn't change the meaning!" he posted on Instagram with a face-palm emoji.

"Be proud but understand what you're being proud of.

"I stand for us, our mob! Be proud of the oldest living culture.

"Always was, always will be."

Mitchell is a proud Indigenous man and appeared in this year's NRL marketing campaign with the Aboriginal flag draped across his back.

During last year's State of Origin series, the NSW centre made headlines when he protested against the anthem by refusing to sing, as did Blues teammates Cody Walker, Josh Addo-Carr and Blake Ferguson.

Mitchell didn't play in this year's Origin series but the anthem protests from players continued.

The South Sydney fullback may not have loved the national anthem on Saturday night but plenty of others did.

 

The Daily Telegraph's Jamie Pandaram posted on Twitter: "Absolutely fantastic: every Wallabies player sung the first half of the national anthem in Indigenous language. Learned the words. Paid respect. A great step forward."

Rugby Australia reporter Christy Doran also called the spectacle "spine-tingling".

"The finest rendition of the Australian national anthem. That was brilliant. Never felt more proud of our anthem. Well done Olivia Fox," he posted on Twitter.

The Wallabies' official Twitter profile called it a "goosebumps" moment while Australian Paralympic legend Richard Coleman wrote: "That is one incredible national anthem @wallabies! As an athlete every time the Australian anthem is performed it should be done this way. I would love to win a gold medal and hear this playing loud and proud, so inspiring."

It was reported this week the Wallabies playing group had been learning the lyrics in Eora to show the team is serious about recognising the role of First Nations people in the sport.

 

ADVANCE AUSTRALIA FAIR IN EORA LANGUAGE

Australiagal ya'nga yabun

Eora budgeri

Yarragal Bamal Yarrabuni

Ngurra garrigarrang

Nura mari guwing bayabuba

Diara-murrahmah-coing

Guwugu yago ngabay burrabagur

Yirribana Australiagal

Garraburra ngayiri yabun

Yirribana Australiagal

 

 

Originally published as Latrell hits out at Indigenous anthem



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