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Updated by brooke-johnston on Nov 20, 2016
Headline for 7 times Redfern Now showed us that the Australian National Anthem doesn’t represent Indigenous Australians:
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7 times Redfern Now showed us that the Australian National Anthem doesn’t represent Indigenous Australians:

Episode four of Redfern Now “Stand Up” directed by Rachel Perkins, explores how the Australian National Anthem doesn’t represent Indigenous Australians. Dialogue, selective camera angles, characters and music within the episode highlights how the anthem isn’t fulfilling its purpose as a symbolisation of the whole country and its people, nor that is encourages pride for all.

1

In conclusion

In conclusion

The anthem was made official in 1984, and is evidently long past its context and date, as it somewhat continues the stream of exclusion prospects and racism towards the true traditional landowners, the Indigenous Aboriginal people of Australia, as shown in the episode by Redfern.

2

Different views, diminishing words

Different views, diminishing words

The Aboriginal people’s outlooks of the anthem are often overlooked by others, and diminish the principles and rights of the Indigenous people. The principal’s disregarding words of “All Joel needs to do is stand up and sing the National Anthem. After all, at the end of the day we’re all Australians” results in Eddie’s reactions of “It does sound simple. Just get Joel up to sing along with the rest of the herd. Forget about his principles, forget about the sh*t he coped.” The anger in his speech emphasises the pain that resonated from the mistreatment of his people, and the further demining acts that continue to be carried out due to the misunderstanding of the Indigenous people’s views of the anthem.

3

“It’s only a song…”

“It’s only a song…”

As the camera focuses on Nic’s (Ursula Yovich) face, she says “It’s only a song…” and repeats “… a song” to Eddie as they discuss the school’s principles of singing the anthem. The words expressed by Nic empathises the little meaning, and insignificance the song it to their family, and defines how the Aboriginal community view the National Anthem as something unimportant due to their minimal relation to it.

4

The divide can’t be ignored

The divide can’t be ignored

The distinctive difference in cultural aspects of the Australian people is clearly separated within the views of the anthem, with many of the white settlers relishing in the anthem, while the Indigenous people feeling unappreciated by it. As the camera switches back and fourth between two camera angles in the car, Eddie tries to put the scenario into perspective when asking his son “Should a white fella stand up and do a black fella corroboree? Or should a black fella stand up and sing a white fella’s anthem, their corroboree?” Comparing his people’s cultural Corroboree - a ceremonial meeting for the Australian Aboriginal people, with Australia’s National Anthem Eddie identifies the contrast between the different traditions separate significance and expectations. Empathising that the Aboriginal community wouldn’t expect others to carry out their traditional acts, and therefore don’t understand other’s expectations for the Indigenous people to sing the National Anthem that fails to represent their community.

5

“But its tradition”

“But its tradition”

With the camera fixed on principal Mrs Macann (Gillian Jones), portrayed as an evil, inconsiderate antagonist as she speaks in a mean tone with added snobbish facial expressions as she attempts to enforce Joel to sing the National Anthem. By stating “Don’t get me wrong. We pride ourselves on our tolerance and understanding, but its tradition” she tries to minimise the situation by playing the ‘Its tradition’ card. From historical contexts, customs carried out in the past were bluntly racist, demoralising, and disadvantaging to the Aboriginal communities and should in no way be acceptable today, so why should the disregarded manner of the Indigenous people be continued through the National Anthem? Therefore proving that the excuse of ‘its tradition’ doesn’t make it right, nor mean it should continue today.

6

New found success

New found success

After Joel explains to his Dad that he refused to sing the National Anthem, Eddie sees the stand as an achievement. Looking up at the poster of Anthony Mundine in a worship-like way, saying “My son, he’s the man” as if to proudly declares his new found success to the strong, respectable symbol. Upbeat music plays in the background as Eddie leaves the room, indicating the positive emotions as a result of a noble movement due to the level of disagreement with the anthem.

7

“It’s not our song”

“It’s not our song”

The anthem that is supposed to be for all Australians rather excludes the traditional landowners, leaving Indigenous people with a lack of belonging and connection for the song. Eddie stating “I have never stood up for that song, not even for the State of Origin. It’s not our song. It doesn’t belong to us. You don’t need that stuff to have pride” to his son. The camera focuses on Eddies face as he says these words capturing a clear understanding for the lack of sense of belonging within the anthem.

8

The lyrics misrepresent it all

The lyrics misrepresent it all

Eddie Shields (played by Marley Sharp) details the misrepresentation that lyrics within the anthem bring, reading aloud the line ‘We’ve boundless plains to share’ from his son Joel’s homework task on the Australian National Anthem. Derived from acknowledgement of the past historical acts of dispossession and invasion from white settlers, Eddie with a sarcastic tone asks Joel “What’d they share?” The camera switches to Joel shrugging in response to the statement, with no liable answer to his father’s rhetorical question. This scene stresses the deception within the anthem’s lyrics, twisting the depiction of Australia’s not-so-giving past and historical deprivation that affected the Indigenous Aboriginal communities dearly.