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‘An important issue’: Support for #ISitWithHarper movement over schoolgirl’s anthem protest

A campaign in support of the 9-year-old Brisbane schoolgirl who sat for the national anthem in a protest against the exclusion of Indigenous Australians is gaining support on social media.

NSW Anglican priest Father Rod Bower told Neil Mitchell he supported Harper Nielsen and the wider discussion.

Related: Neil Mitchell speaks with father of schoolgirl who refuses to stand for national anthem

Former NRL player Joe Williams is among those who have thrown their support behind the #ISitWithHarper movement.

“I think Harper has raised an important issue of how we think about the heritage of this land,” Fr Bower said.

“When we sing young and free, I’m not really sure we are looking back beyond 1901.

“Harper is raising an important question.

“I don’t think it’s a matter of disrespecting the anthem, I think it’s a matter of asking the question do we want a kind of land that has the presence of justice or are we prepared to allow order to overtake justice.”

But Neil Mitchell questioned whether there was a better way to make the point.

“We can have the debate and the consideration without going out there and potentially I think offending a lot of decent Australians who take the national anthem seriously and say don’t disrespect it,” he said.

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