Stephens, David: Singing country: the importance of the song On every Anzac Day

Stephens, David

Singing country: the musical legacy of David Morrison, Australian of the Year – and a straw in the wind at the Australian War Memorial?’, Honest History, 2 February 2016

The article looks at the story behind the song ‘On every Anzac Day’, commissioned by David Morrison, written by John Schumann, endorsed by Brendan Nelson and used by the Australian Army to help recruit Indigenous Australians and by the War Memorial as the soundtrack for a promotional video.

Whether, how, where and to what extent Australia recognises non-uniformed Indigenous service in defence of country is ultimately up to men and women of Arrente, Gadigal, Ngambri, Ngunnawal, Noongar, Walpiri, Wiradjuri, Wurundjeri, and other Indigenous heritage, not to white fellas. But white fellas have to cooperate and that is why we should note and recognise the actions of General Morrison and Director Nelson in blessing and supporting a song that includes the words “One invading mob’s too many” and hints that ‘fighting First Australians’ have not always worn the Queen’s uniform.

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Indigenous uniformed service is the subject of a number of articles in Aboriginal History, Volume 39, 2015.

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