“While Australia as a modern nation may be relatively young, our country’s story is ancient, as are the stories of the many First Nations peoples whose stewardship we rightly acknowledge and respect,” Morrison said.
“In the spirit of unity, it is only right that we ensure our national anthem reflects this truth and shared appreciation.”
Minister for Indigenous Australians Ken Wyatt said in a statement that he had been asked about the change and had given it his support.
Wyatt, the first Indigenous Australian elected to the federal Parliament’s lower house, said the one-word change was “small in nature but significant in purpose.”
“It is an acknowledgement that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures date back 65,000 years,” he said.
The change comes less than two months after New South Wales state Premier Gladys Berejiklian expressed support for Indigenous Australians who said the national anthem did not reflect them and their history.
University of New South Wales law professor Megan Davis, a Cobble Cobble woman from the Barrungam nation in southwest Queensland state, criticized the lack of consultation with Indigenous people about the change.
“This is a disappointing way to end 2020 and start 2021. Everything about us, without us,” she wrote on social media.