Australia, Dear Australia

One can almost hear renowned rugby union commentator Gordon Bray … ‘and we now pause for the national anthem, Australia Dear Australia, to be performed by the former Morpeth Road musical director, Jack Morgan!’

Yes, our national anthem could have been written by a Welshman living in London. As it is, Advance Australia Fair, proclaimed Australia’s national anthem in 1984, was written by a Scot – Glasgow-born Peter Dodds McCormick.

Found by one of our researchers, Jack Morgan’s song was apparently inspired by a cruise trip down under 16 years earlier. Having a ‘great regard’ for the Australian people, he submitted his composition to then Australian High Commissioner in London, Sir Alec Downer (father of the current Foreign Minister) in 1972.

Note the references (in red) to Waltzing Matilda. In his letter to Downer, Morgan said: ‘Waltzing Matilda can be interpolated’ every few bars and ‘I would be very proud if it is accepted’.

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    Jack Morgan
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    Jack Morgan's anthem for Australia
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    Jack Morgan's letter to the Australian High Commissioner in London, 7 December 1972
Copyright National Archives of Australia 2017