I Am Australian
I am Australian (or We are Australian) is a popular Australian song written in 1987 by Bruce Woodley of The Seekers and Dobe Newton of The Bushwackers. Its lyrics are filled with many historic and cultural references, such as to the 'digger', Albert Namatjira and Ned Kelly, among others. Its popularity has allowed it to join the ranks of other patriotic songs considered as alternatives to the Australian National Anthem – Advance Australia Fair. It is commonly taught in primary schools. In 1996 the Salvation Army used the song in TV adverts for its Red Shield Appeal, raising funds to help people needing help.
The song also was released in 1997 by trio Judith Durham (of The Seekers), Russell Hitchcock (from Air Supply) and Yothu Yindi's Mandawuy Yunupingu. EMI Australia released the single and it reached number 17 on the Australian ARIA Charts in June.
I am Australian is popular at celebrations such as Australia Day and New Year's Day, as it celebrates the diversity of Australian society – the lyrics to the chorus emphasise this: We are one, but we are many, and from all the lands on Earth we come, we share a dream and sing with one voice – I am, you are, we are Australian.
I am Australian is sometimes played at citizenship ceremonies, and is often sung by Australian fans at numerous sporting events. A famous rendition was given at the 1994 AFL Grand Final.
In October 2003, in conjunction with the sponsorship of the 2003 Rugby World Cup, Australian telecommunications giant Telstra launched a new campaign centered around the song remixed and performed by Lo-Tel. It is often mistakenly credited to Rai Thistlethwayte, as the vocalists sound very similar. Telstra had bought the rights to the song a number of years before. The campaign was produced by advertising company Young and Rubicam.
In aid of the Farmhand Foundation's Drought Relief Appeal, Telstra released a CD of the Lo-Tel remix that sold for $6. A total of $100,000 was raised from the profits ($4.05 per CD) generated from the sale of the CD. The actual published copy of the CD credits "Performed by: Rai Thistlewayte & other artists" and "Music re-arranged by: Rai Thistlewayte"
In 2008, Telstra used a different version of the song recorded by the Sydney band, Botanics, for advertising their mobile coverage of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.
In 2009 two additional verses were added to show remembrance during the official National Day of Mourning for the victims of the Black Saturday bushfires. Woodley performed the song along with his daughter Clare and Kinglake fire survivors Merelyn and David Carter during the memorial service at the Rod Laver Stadium in Melbourne on 22 February.
- I Am Australian Complete lyrics, including new ones added for the 2009 Black Saturday Bushfires memorial.
- "Y&R gets bite of Telstra mobile". B&T. 5 November 2003.
- "Telstra plays patriot games at the Cup". B&T. 27 November 2003.
- "Lee accepts $100,000 Farmhand donation from Telstra". Outbackclub - Lee Kernaghan. Archived from the original on 24 July 2005. Retrieved 15 May 2005.