Published: Fri, September 14, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Hanson attacks Qld girl for anthem protest

Hanson attacks Qld girl for anthem protest

Nine-year-old Harper Nielson claimed on The Project that "Advance Australia Fair" was originally written to mean advancing white Australia.

When asked where she got the idea about protesting the anthem, Harper said she "just thought about it, and my parents explained it to me as well".

Harper's protest was in light of her belief that the song doesn't do justice to the contributions of the aboriginal peoples of Australia.

In a statement, the Queensland Department of Education and Training said Kenmore South has been in contact with Nielsen's parents, adding the school allows students who do not wish to sing the anthem to stand outside the hall.

"We were surprised behaviour such as a passive non-participation might be considered in the same realm as something like bringing a knife to school or being violent towards others", she said.

"I think she's a very courageous young person who is really showing what you can achieve by taking a stand in something that you believe is right", he said.

"She's just asking for her opinion to be heard and for her feelings to be acknowledged, and for her to have an opportunity to take a stand on something she believes very strongly about".

"I don't think we need MPs out there having their views such as that on Twitter", Ms Palaszczuk said.

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

'If it's good enough for Cathy Freeman, Johnathon Thurston, and Warren Mundine to stand for the National anthem, it should be good enough for this nine-year-old brat'.

"She's shown incredible bravery in wanting to stick to what she believes in and make a stance for something she believes right and I couldn't be more proud of her for wanting to do this", he said. She attacked the nine-year-old's parents, saying: "I tell you what, I'd give her a kick up the backside".

Jarrod Bleijie, a shadow education minister and member of the Queensland Parliament, accused Harper's parents of using their daughter as a "political pawn" and urged her to stop the protest.

Harper Nielson has made a protest at her Kenmore South State School against Advance Australia Fair, saying it is not inclusive of indigenous Australians.

Queensland senator Pauline Hanson said Harper should be pulled out of school.

"I was really impressed and really proud of her for wanting to follow through on her beliefs."

Though schools were expected to sing it, it was never compulsory, and even the federal government's own protocols do not say it is mandatory to stand for the anthem.

After Harper's actions were disciplined with detention, her protest made a splash on talk radio - where one radio host urged her school to "kick her out" - and eventually received the notice and condemnation of politician Pauline Hanson, said.

Mark Nielsen, Harper's father, told Nine News his daughter was "very courageous", adding he had met with the school's principal but no agreement had been reached.

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