For 232 years, Australians have relied on Britain, and then America, to keep Asia safe for them. Now, they are increasingly on their own as they confront a complex of epidemiological, economic, environmental and strategic problems.
Australians marked the New Year on Jan 1 with a small but important change to their national anthem. Just one word was altered, so that the second line of the song no longer describes Australia as "young and free", but as "one and free".
Why? Because while the British settled in the continent only 232 years ago, the Aboriginal society they encountered is not young. In fact, it is the world's oldest living culture - 60,000 years old.
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