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Advance Australia fair
Title : Advance Australia fair Advance Australia fair
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Date of creation : ca. 1990
Format : Poster
Dimensions : 850 x 580 mm
Catalogue record
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Description :
On 19 April 1984 Advance Australia fair was proclaimed as the Australian national anthem. The song was composed by Peter Dodds McCormick under the pen-name 'Amicus' (Latin for 'friend') and is thought to have been first performed in public in Sydney on St Andrew's Day (30 November), 1878. Advance Australia fair was sung at the inauguration ceremony for the Commonwealth of Australia on 1 January 1901.

From first days of settlement in 1788, God save the queen had been the official anthem for Australia. In South Australia, the Gawler Institute held a competition in 1859 for a patriotic song, and awarded cash prizes to Caroline Carleton for the words and Carl Linger for the music of The song of Australia. South Australians sang this rousing composition at school, and it featured at many official functions. In the late 1920s South Australians had lobbied to have this tune recognized as the national song.

Several competitions were held over the decades to find a national anthem and in 1973 the Whitlam Government declared that a new competition would be held. None of the submissions were judged acceptable and it was recommended that a choice be made from three existing songs: Advance Australia Fair, Banjo Patterson's Waltzing Matilda and The Song of Australia.

In May 1977 the Australian Electoral Office conducted a public poll for the preferred anthem and Advance Australia fair was the majority choice - The Song of Australia received only around 10 per cent of the vote. Four years later the National Australia Day Council recommended particular verses of Advance Australia fair with some amendments and final recognition for this national anthem was awarded in 1984.

Further reading :
Basedow, H. The 'Song of Australia': proclamation as national song / speech by H. Basedow, M.P. in the House of Assembly, Wednesday, September 4, 1929, [Adelaide]: H. Weir, Government Printer, 1929

Hinz, Frank, ed. Songs of Australia, Frankston, Vic.: Bayside Press, 1977 (Includes some of the 'unsuccessful' entries in the Australian National Anthem Quest)

Magoffin, Richard. Waltzing Matilda: ballad of the 'fair go', Corinda, Qld.: Pictorial Press Australia, 2005

Wallace, Ronald AV. Our great patriotic song: the 'Song of Australia', [Adelaide, S. Aust.]: Carl Linger Memorial Committee, [1999]

Internet links :
It's an honour: symbols: Australian national anthem [Australian Government]

MusicAustralia See: Musical Treasures: Under the Southern Cross Advance Australia fair and The song of Australia (music scores online)

Music SA



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