Tuesday, 24 January 2017

January 26: #ChangeTheDate

The date of January 26 continues to hold unifying and divisive perspectives amongst Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians who recognise it under different names - Australia Day commemorates this date back in 1788 as the day on which Captain Arthur Phillip formally took possession of Sydney Cove, establishing European Australia; Invasion Day recognises the original invasion of the land by English colonisers and the continued oppression of Indigenous people; Survival Day acknowledges the survival of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their culture despite the inequalities which still exist.

We spoke with some of our artists who shared their thoughts on why the date of Australia Day needs to be changed.


"Celebrating Australia Day on the 26th of January is divisive, disrespectful and in direct contrast with what people regard as its intention. If the intention is to celebrate the Australia of today as a great multicultural and inclusive country, then by its very nature it cannot be celebrated on 26th of January because it excludes Indigenous people who have (for longer than Australia Day has been an official holiday) observed the date as a Day of Mourning, Invasion Day and Survival Day. So, quite obviously, the date needs to change."


"The current way the nation celebrates Australia Day has never sat right with me. As a nation we drink and eat to excess and many exhibit an aggressive display of patriotism that often leads to bigotry and violence. 

I've never understood how people can behave in this way and I've never seen January 26 as something to celebrate. I believe it is of utmost importance that we as a nation continually reflect and recognise our past and honour our Indigenous people. One way to do this (and I mean only one, this is just the beginning) is to change the date. We have a responsibility to do so."


"I was born in Australia and I grew up here. It's a place I've always loved and called home. However, I also acknowledge that I am a guest on this land that has a black history. If the traditional owners and custodians of this land mourn on January 26th, what kind of person does that make me if I celebrate? So I say change the date."

In case you missed it, in collaboration with NITV, Urthboy, L-FRESH The LION, Ozi Batla, Thundamentals, Nooky, Birdz, Tasman Keith, Hau, Coda Conduct and Kaylah Truth teamed up to produce the song ' Change the Date'. Check out the 360 degree VR experience video below. The powerful lyrics can be found on NITV's website here.

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