SYDNEY (Reuters) – The Australian national anthem was sung in a local indigenous language for the first time at an international sporting event before Australia’s Tri-Nations test against Argentina at Western Sydney Stadium on Saturday.
Student Olivia Fox sang Advance Australia Fair first in the language of the Eora Nation – the indigenous coastal clans from the area around the city of Sydney – before the more usual first verse of the English version.
The Wallabies players, wearing “First Nation” jerseys featuring an indigenous design in a match for the second time this season, had clearly learned the indigenous version and sang along with Fox.
“We were practising it during the week and we were very proud to have that opportunity to do it, and I think it sounded pretty good too,” said Australia captain Michael Hooper.
“Wearing an indigenous jersey and singing that was great to be a part of.”
Australia’s players decided not take a knee in support of the “Black Lives Matter” racial justice campaign before their test matches this year, instead focusing on honouring the country’s indigenous peoples.
(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Ken Ferris)