• Harper Nielsen with Joe Williams. (Supplied)
Harper Nielsen's silent protest has been heard by Indigenous community members, with high profile voices recording messages of support and #isitwithharper gaining momentum.
By
Douglas Smith, Nakari Thorpe

Source:
NITV News
13 Sep 2018 - 6:04 PM  UPDATED 13 Sep 2018 - 6:08 PM

Indigenous people from around Australia, including high profile sports stars and TV personalities have banded together to support the Queensland schoolgirl who refused to stand for the national anthem last week.

The nine-year-old Harper Nielsen explained her action, saying she believes the anthem is “wrong” and does not acknowledge Indigenous culture.

It's something One Nation Senator Pauline Hanson was critical of, calling Ms Nielsen "brainwashed". She said she would give the schoolgirl a "kick up the backside".

Liberal Minister for Indigenous Health, Ken Wyatt told NITV News Ms Hanson’s comments were “inappropriate in the sense of talking about a child in that manner”.

With the young schoolgirl in the middle of a media storm, Indigenous community members have recorded video messages of support to counter the negative comments.

After speaking with Ms Nielson's mother, Indigenous Brisbane woman Lauren Appo put a call out for the video messages to go with social media hashtag #isitwithharper.  

Ms Appo told NITV News Ms Miller was on the verge of deleting her Facebook page because of all the “hate” and “negativity” her daughter was receiving.

Indigenous sports stars, Joe Williams and Anthony Mundine were quick to respond to the call for messages.

World Champion boxer Mundine told Ms Nielsen she should “stay strong” and that she was doing the right thing.

Married at First Sight’s Telv Williams said he was in full support of Ms Nielsen and he was “very proud” of her, telling her to “stick to your guns”.

Ms Appo told NITV News on Thursday she was hoping the video messages would help “combat the negativity" for Ms Nielsen.

“I wanted to show her that there was positivity and support from our community,” she said.

In her video message, Indigenous teacher Kiana Charlton tells Ms Nielsen it is “great to see students take action on social justice issues that they’re passionate about” and calling her a “future leader”.

Also included in the video is young Murri boy Quaden Bayles.

Ms Appo says the support is growing and there are still videos coming through from around Australia.

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