Australians rally behind young girl who protested the national anthem

Earlier this week, nine-year-old Harper Nielsen became a topic of debate in Australia after the youngster objected to singing and standing to the nation's national anthem in school on the grounds that it ignores the country's indigenous people.

Speaking to Nine News, Nielsen said that there she objects to the words in the anthem; "Australians all let us rejoice, for we are young and free."

When it says Advance Australia Fair, it means advance the white people.

And when it says 'we are young' it completely disregards the indigenous Australians who were here before us for 50,000 years.

Her stance during an assembly at Kenmore State South School in Brisbane, saw her handed a detention and then criticised by former prime minister Tony Abbott who said that standing for the anthem is "good manners."

Queensland Liberal National politician Jarrod Bleijie then branded Nielsen a "brat" in a Tweet and said that she should be suspended if she did it again.

Right-wing politician Pauline Hanson added to the debate that Harper should receive a "kick up the back-side."

However, despite this, she has found an overwhelming amount of support from the Australian population who have backed her protest by using the hashtag #ISitwithHarper.

Numerous videos and messages have been shared on Australian social media praising her for lending her voice to a noble cause.

Others have chosen to voice their opposition to Harper's stance and questioned how the national anthem offends aboriginals.

In a statement, the Queensland's Department of Education said:

The school has been respectful of the student's wishes and has provided other alternatives to singing the national anthem.

State schools set out clear standards of behaviour that they expect from their students in their Responsible Behaviour Plan for Students.

HT Evening Standard

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