Australian Senator Pauline Hanson has blasted a nine-year-old girl who refused to stand for the national anthem.
Nine-year-old Queensland schoolgirl Harper Nielsen has created a stir after refusing to stand for Australia’s national anthem, claiming protest in solidarity with Australia’s indigenous peoples.
Nielsen contests the opening line of the national anthem, “Australians all let us rejoice, for we are young and free”, claiming that the sentiment reinforces institutional racism.
“When it was originally written, Advance Australian Fair meant advance the white people of Australia”, she said in an interview with Australia’s ABC. “And when it says ‘we are young’ it completely disregards the indigenous Australians who were here before us for 50,000 years.”
Nielsen’s parents support their daughter’s protests. Her father, Mark Nielsen, told CNN, “I’m amazed at her capacity for seeing things that don’t feel right and having the strength to try and right them…I’m just incredibly proud”.