Advance Australia Fair

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"Advance Australia Fair" is the official national anthem of Australia. Created by the Scottish-born composer, Peter Dodds McCormick, the song was first performed in 1878, but did not gain its status as the official anthem until 1984. Until then, the song was sung in Australia as a patriotic song. In order for the song to become the anthem, it had to face a vote between the Royal anthem God Save the Queen, the "unofficial anthem" Waltzing Matilda and Song of Australia. Other songs and marches have been influenced from Advance Australia Fair, such as the Australian Vice-Regal salute.

Contents

History

Origin of Advance Australia Fair

The original song Advance Australia Fair was composed by Peter Dodds McCormick under the pen-name 'Amicus'(which means 'friend' in Latin), in the late 19th century, and first performed by Andrew Fairfax at a Highland Society function in Sydney on 30 November 1878. The song quickly gained popularity and an amended version was sung by a choir of 10,000 at the inauguration of the Commonwealth of Australia on 1 January 1901. In 1907 the Australian Government awarded McCormick £100 for his composition.

In a letter to R. B. Fuller Esq., dated 1 August 1913, McCormick described the circumstances that inspired him to write Advance Australia Fair:

Before its adoption as Australia's national anthem, Advance Australia Fair saw considerable use elsewhere. For example, Australia's national broadcaster, the Australian Broadcasting Commission, used it to announce its news bulletins until 1952.[2] It was also frequently played at the start or end of official functions. Towards the end of World War II, it was played in picture theatres after "God Save the Queen" and the American national anthem.[3]

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