In Australia, where 2021 arrived earlier than in most of the rest of the world, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a surprise change to the national anthem on New Year's Eve. Morrison said that as of Jan. 1, the second line of "Advance Australia Fair" would change from "For we are young and free" to "For we are one and free," the Guardian reports. The change, which has broad political support, was made amid concerns that calling the country "young" ignored more than 50,000 years of Aboriginal history. "We should be proud of the fact that we have the oldest continuous civilization on the planet right here with First Nations people," said opposition leader Anthony Albanese.
"Changing 'young and free' to 'one and free' takes nothing away, but I believe it adds much," Morrison said, per 9News. "It recognizes the distance we have travelled as a nation. It recognizes that our national story is drawn from more than 300 national ancestries and language groups and we are the most successful multicultural nation on earth. It reaffirms our resolve as one of the world's oldest democracies, while honoring the foundations upon which our nation has been built and the aspirations we share for the future." The nearly 150-year-old "Advance Australia Fair" replaced "God Save the Queen" as the country's national anthem in 1984. (Read more Australia stories.)