In a statement posted to Facebook yesterday, The Presets’ Julian Hamilton and Kim Moyes wish their friends and fans all the best, but make it clear they won’t be taking part in Australia Day celebrations.
“Enjoy your barbecues, get out for a surf, tune in the Hottest 100. Whatever you are planning to do – have a ball! Just like you, we know there is so much for Australians to be immensely proud of, and we wholeheartedly agree that those things should be celebrated. We will not, however, be celebrating tomorrow,” the pair say.
“January 26 marks the anniversary of the British settlement of Australia. Whilst it is a positive commemoration for some, for many others it is a tragic anniversary.
“For the indigenous people who were here long before those boats came, January 26 marks the beginning of the end of their way of life — a way of life that they had enjoyed for over 40,000 years. 26 January is day white man arrived with his guns, his alcohol, his church, his flus [sic] and other unknown illnesses.”
Hamilton and Moyes go on to say “it’s frankly sickening” that Australia celebrates itself on the “cruelest of anniversaries”, and suggest that a more suitable day should take its place.
“We look forward to a time where a new day is chosen to celebrate our great nation — a day that we can all truly get behind,” say the duo, before suggesting Australia Day could be moved to 16th August, the day in 1975 when then Prime Minister Gough Whitlam visited a remote area in the Northern Territory and poured a handful of soil into the hands of Gurindji man Vincent Lingiari.
“Whatever day we choose, it must be something that all Australians can truly get behind once and for all,” say the Presets. “And anything would be better than the 26th of January.” Catch the pair’s full statement, below.
Elsewhere, Briggs has sat down for a chat with Bangladeshi-Australian comedian Aamer Rahman for Vice Australia, and has explained his 26th January routine.
“I pull all my blinds, I shut everything down, I peak out maybe and see what they’re doing,” Briggs says. “I can smell the sausages, they’re on their way.”
Here’s proof that he’s not joking:
Briggs, who says he doesn’t consider himself Australian, believes Australia Day, among other things, is “just a day off to get smashed”.
“I never do a show on Australia Day, Invasion Day, whatever… I can’t bring myself to have a barbecue that day, like it’s a wrongful barbecue,” he says.
“Even the lead up to Australia Day, Invasion Day, it’s fucking painful. ‘Straya since 1788!'”
Other Aussie musos like John Butler and Kasey Chambers have also teamed up with Melbourne muso Scott Darlow to release a special reworking of the Goanna hit Solid Rock, featuring Goanna’s Shane Howard and a number of prominent Indigenous Australians. Catch that clip alongside The Presets’ full statement, below.
Watch: Darlow – Solid Rock (Goanna Cover feat. Shane Howard)