the great anthem debate


“The head of a Christian schools group has defended the practice of having students sing an additional religious verse to the national anthem.”

The neo-christian verse (courtesy of ABC news)  :

With Christ our head and cornerstone, we’ll build our nation’s might;
Whose way and truth and light alone, can guide our path aright;
Our lives a sacrifice of love, reflect our master’s care;
With faces turned to heav’n above, Advance Australia Fair;
In joyful strains then let us sing, Advance Australia Fair.

These church schools just don’t get it. Bad enough that taxpayers’ dollars fund these minority faiths. Now they want to turn our shared secular anthem into a Hymn. Listen guys. We may have once been a christian country. I accept that it’s part of our anglo/judeo/ christian heritage. But this isn’t a theocracy. It’s a multi-faith, multi-ethnic pluralistic democracy. So here’s my neo-humanist/atheist verse:

Now most of us are atheists who see Death as The End

But feel quite free to have a chat to your Imaginary Friend.

We take all creeds and races here from commonplace to rare

But Church and State we separate. Advance Australia Fair.

In joy, though strained, then let us sing Advance Australia Fair.




sapphic stanzas

Thanks to the organizers of the Sappho Books & Café New Poetry Readings in Glebe last night. I had the pleasure of hearing guest poets Nicolette Stasko & Greg McLaren (who were both new to me), had the opportunity to perform my own Plympton Gopher and enjoyed hearing work of a few other brave souls at the open mic session. Oh… and bumped into a guy called Steve I’d met previously at Friendly Street Poets in Adelaide!

Café Salon Series

This has all the hallmarks for potential success. Some of Australia’s most talented poets (Peter Goldsworthy, Geoff & Grace Goodfellow, Jill Jones, Amelia Walker and a whole lot more) interviewed on the couch by the affable Steph Hester in a live conversation with a maximum audience of 50 at the Tin Cat Café.



I believe it’s Heather Taylor-Johnson’s baby. Sounds like a recipe for an exciting innovation to me. Book while you still can.