Statement from the Official Secretary, Mr Mark Fraser LVO OAM
28 February 2017

Last night on 27 February 2017, Andrew Bolt, on Sky News’ The Bolt Report, asserted that disrespect was shown in the playing of a shortened national anthem at the Ceremonial Welcome for the President of Indonesia on 26 February.

Mr Bolt was possibly unaware that the musical piece he referred to, known as a ‘Royal Salute’, is played on the arrival of a Governor-General to a ceremonial occasion. The shortened, up-tempo musical piece includes the first and last four bars of the National Anthem and has been played since the official declaration of the Anthem in 1984.

In accordance with longstanding conventions, both the Australian and Indonesian national anthems were played in full when the Governor-General and President returned to the dais after the inspection of the guard and presentation of the greeting lines.

This format has been shaped by a long history of traditions and protocols and is commonly used in other Commonwealth countries.