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Updated by acyuzuzo57 on Mar 17, 2016
Headline for 7 Times Redfern now shows us how offensive the Australian anthem really is to Indigenous Australians!
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7 Times Redfern now shows us how offensive the Australian anthem really is to Indigenous Australians!

Episode 4 of season 1, “Stand Up”, really shows us the struggles and challenges Indigenous people face in not being acknowledged properly by the Australian National Anthem, and as such Australians all together.


Victory at last!

In this scene you see he camera panning across the sides of seat rows, many are empty but in some have students scattered across the many rows of seats. The principal is walking along the middle aisle of the rows her footsteps clearly heard by the heel in her shoes. The room’s silence, tension and the principal’s body language, obviously show that the students are being reprimanded for something, something Joel got expelled for. These students most indigenous and some non-indigenous are standing up for what Joel believed in. Respecting his people and culture by not singing the Australian Anthem that does not acknowledge the original owners of the land. Eventually the principal allows Joel to come back to school on his terms not to sing, but this scene shows that if you really believe in something and take action, change can happen for the better.


Do you support me Mum?

While Joel’s dad is all about supporting Joel with the decision not to stand or sing the Australian anthem, his mother Nic (Ursula Yovich) isn’t as supportive. While Eddie is more concerned about the pride and respect of the heritage of Indigenous Australians and how they are (aren’t) represented, Nic is more concerned about how Joel’s actions could jeopardise his chance to stay in the school, get a good education, and his future. While Nic has reason to worry about what Joel is doing and the consequences, Joel sees it as her not being supportive in what he’s trying to stand up expressing his frustration by saying, “How about standing up for me mum?” The questions not only shows his anger and frustration but also his disappointment and sadness that his own mum won’t support him. Although Joel has a right to and responsibility to get a good education for himself, he also has the power/right and responsibility to stand up for himself especially with a topic of race and acknowledgment, but choosing which one is more important would be up to Joel.


Dad knows best.

In this scene Joel is telling his father he didn’t stand up for the national anthem, he says, “I didn’t get up. Like you said Dad.” Aaron McGrath voices this comment in a serious tone, that makes the audience really believe that he’s serious and not only wants to stand up for his rights, but also to please his dad with the decisions he makes.


To sing or not to sing? That is the question.

Joel is told to stay in the gymnasium after the assembly because he had refused to sing the Australian Anthem. The principal sends Joel’s teacher, Mr Parish (Ewen Leslie), and another former aboriginal scholar, Mr Moore, to speak to Joel about his co-operation to sing. When Mr Parish leaves the room to leave Joel with Mr Moore, Mr Moore then makes a confession, telling Joel, “Three years I have been standing in this hall with that song, and you know what? Never sung a word.” This scene would probably give Joel the impression that he doesn’t need to sing if he could do what Mr Moore is doing. Whether this is an action that would reclaim your power or not should be decided Joel.


Stand up or Sit down?

In a sea full of kids standing and singing the National Australian Anthem, Joel remains seated, looking sternly ahead of him. The camera slowly pans across the rows of the students while they sing and then Joel comes into view still sitting and not singing at all. This scene is when the viewers realise where Joel really stands in relation to the Australian Anthem matter and how far he’ll go to prove his point, and to stand for his rights.


Something about Australia Fair thing.

In this scene, Joel is tasked to write an essay about the Australian Anthem after a teacher discovers he doesn’t know the words to it. When his father (Eddie) returns home and asks him what he’s doing he responds, “I don’t know. Something about Australia Fair thing.” Aaron McGrath portrays Joel in this scene slightly feeble and confused, hinting to the audience that his research of the Australian Anthem isn’t exactly going well.


Will Smith uniform swag.

Joel Shields is a new student now attending a fancy private school, Clifton Grammar. As he’s walking to his new school he finds that two students, most probably from his previous school, are mocking him for his “fancy” uniform. The two boys could have been jealous and envied the position Joel was in, but the mockery mostly extended from the fact their fellow indigenous buddy now had a better path to the future, which could be why the camera faces Joel front on and shows the two other boys behind him, like showing he is in front of them now as well as in the future. This could seem foreign to the characters who don’t have the same opportunities that most non-indigenous students would, as seen when one of the boys comments in a mocking manner, “who you think you are in that? Will Smith?” Although it’s unfortunate reality that statistically indigenous Australians don't achieve as well as non-indigenous Australians in the school system.