Minimalist Change Model

The song ‘Advance Australia Fair II’ is presented as an example of a ‘minimalist change’ model. There is a strong emphasis on maintaining tradition, which is recognised as having particular value for many Australians, while at the same time introducing new vigour to the National Anthem through new Verses 2 & 3 which sing of values relevant to modern Australia.

The first verse of the present National Anthem is retained, but with a single and important change to line 2. The inappropriate and now outmoded word ‘young’ is removed and replaced with ‘strong’. So the first two lines are sung: ‘Australians all let us rejoice, For we are strong and free’. This is the only change to Verse 1.

Use of the word ‘strong’ in combination with the phrase ‘Australians all’ celebrates strength in our unity in diversity and our inclusiveness as a society, something in which we can truly rejoice.  The word ‘free’ references strength in our basic freedoms and democratic institutions which are protected by the rule of law. It is through our democracy that we are free to advocate for positive change to correct failures in society, such as unacceptable incarceration rates of Indigenous citizens. As a Nation we find unity in our support for these principles and strength in our respect for them.

Verse 2 of the present National Anthem is rarely sung, and few know the words. This model does not include the second verse. It is replaced by the second and third verses. This creates an Anthem which is more relevant to the Australia of today, while retaining Verse 1 virtually unchanged except in a minor and positive way.

In particular, the new Verse 2 focusses on our Indigenous peoples and our journey towards reconciliation and reinforcement of our culturally inclusive values.

New Verse 3 talks of our important values of Mateship, Freedom and a Fair-go, and seeks to paint a vision of hope for a new and better Australia.

All three verses are anchored with the traditional refrain concluding with Advance Australia Fair”.

Minimalist Change Model

Advance Australia Fair II

Australians all let us rejoice

For we are strong 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.


For sixty thousand years and more

First peoples of this land

Sustained by Country, Dreamtime told

By word and artist’s hand.

Unite our cultures from afar

In peace with those first here

To walk the dreaming tracks as one

Respect for all grows there.

From everywhere on Earth we sing

Advance Australia Fair.


In times of drought and flood and fire

When all but hope is gone

True mates bring shoulders to your side

And wattle blooms again.

Tomorrow may this timeless land

Live for our young to share

From red-rock heart to sun-drenched shore

Our country free and fair.

Beneath her Southern Cross we sing,

Advance Australia Fair.

Dedicated to Bob Hawke, AC GCL (9 December 1929 – 16 May 2019) 

Based on the first verse, refrain and music by Peter Dodds McCormick (1878);

New lyrics for the 21st century by Peter Vickery (14 June 2019) ©