|Ruth Ponniah wrote it for her church 23-years ago|
In a move that outraged parents' groups have labelled "disrespectful", some 50 Christian schools of mixed denominations have replaced the second verse of Advance Australia Fair with the lyrics, which begin, "With Christ our head and cornerstone, we'll build our nation's might", for school assembly renditions.
The contentious version was penned 23 years ago by Sri Lankan immigrant Ruth Ponniah, 75, who now lives in Sydney, as part of her local church's bicentennial celebrations and is now sung in schools including the Penrith Christian School, St George Christian School, Westmead Christian Grammar School and Bethel Christian School in Mt Druitt.
Federal Education Minister Peter Garrett has admonished the unauthorised words, saying that under national protocols the anthem should not be modified and that the alternative verse had no place in the state's educational institutions - regardless of their religious affiliations.
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