The national anthem, as you've never heard it

THE Australian national anthem will be translated into the local indigenous language Kirrae Whurrung as part of a unique performance at next month's Port Fairy Folk Festival.

The translated version of Advance Australia Fair will be sung by schoolchildren at the Welcome To Country event that will open this year's Folkie on March 9.

The initiative is being undertaken through the Port Fairy Primary Schools Program an outreach activity funded by the festival in conjunction with Kutju Australia, which was established by country singer-songwriter Ted Egan to encourage the acceptance and use of indigenous languages in Australian society.

Pupils from St Patrick's in Koroit, Koroit & District Primary School, Hawkesdale P-12, St Patrick's in Port Fairy and Port Fairy Consolidated, will be tutored by south-west indigenous singer-songwriter Brett Clarke.

The Port Fairy Schools Program will also feature performances by bush ballad group Bushwahzee of their production Band Of Pirates, which will be staged by St Patrick's and Port Fairy Consolidated School pupils for their parents on March 5 and 6.