This patriotic piece of sheet music was presented by its composer, Lillian Louise Dick (1875-1946), to family friend, Kate Thorburn (1857-1945) of Meroogal, Nowra, on 21 November 1934. Years earlier, Lillian’s husband, Dr James Adam Dick (1866-1942) and his brother Robert had become friends with Kate’s brother Tom Thorburn when all three were students at St Andrew’s College, University of Sydney. The families remained lifelong friends and frequent visitors to Meroogal. Kate had received Lillian’s new piece hot off the press and a little over a week later, on 1 December, the Sydney Morning Herald observed that ‘the chorus, “Land of Hope in the Southern Sea,” is bright and the melody being very simple, it could be very easily assimilated.’ Lillian’s composing was probably little more than a hobby and while ‘National Anthem’ was her only publication, she submitted more songs to the Commonwealth copyright office in later years: ‘The Old Lagoon’, ‘Where the Sweet Magnolia Grows’ and ‘Sunset’. The bright red flag fluttering on the music cover reflects 50 years of confusion about the colour of the Australian flag – was it red or blue? In 1953 an Act was passed confirming the Blue Ensign as our national flag.