‘Mud Map’ Implementation Plan

The ‘Recognition in Anthem Project’ proposes that implementation will follow the route established by precedent and convention for the introduction of new lyrics. This process should be improved with the suggested modifications if considered appropriate. This promises to be a relatively inexpensive exercise if handled well.

This proposal would basically involve four steps:

1.      A government committee, independent of RAP, be appointed to consider the proposal for a change to the words of the National Anthem;

2.      Any consultation considered necessary by the committee be undertaken to ensure that the words are generally likely to be acceptable to most Australians;

3.      The recommendation of the committee be presented to Cabinet for consideration; and

4.      If adopted by Cabinet, the change to the words of the National Anthem be introduced in the exercise of executive power under section 61 of the Australian Constitution, and be either:

         (a)   The subject of a proclamation presented directly to the Governor-General by Cabinet and pronounced by him or her (as was done in 1984); or

         (b)   Presented to Federal Parliament for a vote, prior to any proclamation by the Governor-General.

As a recent example of a parliament effecting change to a national anthem, on Thursday 31 January 2018, the Senate of Canada passed legislation that changed the lyrics of the Canadian National Anthem, ‘Oh Canada’ from "in all thy sons command" to "in all of us command" to eliminate gender loaded language in the lyrics.