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Popular radio station triple j, sparked national outrage late last year when it was announced they were in “serious talks” to remove their iconic Australia Day ‘Hottest 100’ countdown and instead hold it at another date.
“triple j’s Hottest 100 is a countdown of your favourite songs of the past year on a public holiday in January. It’s intended as a celebration of the year’s best music that everybody can enjoy” a statement from the radio station said.
The hashtag #ChangeTheDate began to trend on social media, out of respect for the Indigenous people of Australia, some of whom view January 26 as “Invasion Day”. In addition, a Change.org petition to shift triple j’s Hottest 100 to another date has gained over 5,057 signatures.
The petition states “‘Australia Day’ represents, for First Nations’ Peoples, a date commemorating the invasion of their countries and colonisation[sic] of their ways of life, rather than a celebration of what it now means to be ‘Australian’. By changing the date of the Hottest 100 Countdown, triple j can send a message to First Nations’ Peoples that they, and their experiences, are valued and respected by other Australians.”
Indigenous hip hop duo A.B Original — made up of Adam Briggs and Daniel “Trials” Rankine — told Music Feeds it would be a “salute” to Indigenous people if the date was changed.
“That’s a conversation that we should all be having with why we are celebrating that day,” Briggs said.
“Changing the day is just a symptom of what racism is in Australia, and Australia’s attitude towards its Indigenous people.”
In August, Trials told Seven News: “It’s not about lamington recipes, it’s about massacres.”
Social media users have been divided over the idea of changing the date, with some outraged about the possibility of the event taking place on another day.
“The hottest 100 countdown on Australia day is tradition and part of our way of life,” Bart Rae wrote on Facebook.
“Nothing better than enjoying our Australia Day with bbq, swimming & friends with #Hottest100 in the background,” one Twitter user said.
But some have agreed it should be moved and even proposed a new date.
“Move it to New Year’s Day … New Year’s Day is always a bit of a let down anyway, it could use an energetic injection of the best music of the year,” Christiaan Van Vuren wrote.
“Shifting the #Hottest100 would be a fantastic way to continue to spur the important conversation around shifting Australia Day all together,” said Michael O’Donnell on Twitter.
triple j has confirmed the Hottest 100 will go ahead on Australia Day this year. However, future years will be under review and triple j will continue to talk to Indigenous communities, artists and audiences.
“triple j has been part of a growing dialogue around Indigenous recognition and perspectives on 26 January. This is important to triple j and has been for some time,” a statement from the station said.
“triple j wants the Hottest 100 to be an inclusive and respectful event for all Australians, including all the incredible Indigenous artists making great Australian music and the listeners from all cultural backgrounds who love it.”
To show their willingness to support and “create a meaningful connection between all communities, including Indigenous Australians”, triple j has announced a collaboration with the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME).
In 2015, triple j listeners raised over $100,000 for AIME, a mentoring program supporting indigenous kids through high school and into university, training and employment with a completion rate the same as the average Australian child – aiming to close the gap in educational outcomes. Last year, 93% Indigenous students in the AIME program completed Year 12, compared to the overall Indigenous rate of 59% (abc.net.au).
“In partnering with AIME we hope to raise money to empower Indigenous young people and also acknowledge and discuss all perspectives of 26 January,” triple j content director Ollie Wards said. “We want the Hottest 100 to be an inclusive and respectful event for all Australians, including all the incredible Indigenous artists making great Australian music, and the listeners from all cultural backgrounds who love it.”
Every year, millions of Australians get involved in the Hottest 100 at home and overseas. By working with AIME, triple j want to use this wide-reaching platform to create a meaningful connection between all communities, including Indigenous Australians. “The Hottest 100 is the biggest thing triple j does every year. While we celebrate the year’s best music, we believe that together with a great organisation like AIME, triple j has a powerful opportunity and a responsibility to create a positive impact. In partnering with AIME we hope to raise money to empower Indigenous young people and also acknowledge and discuss all perspectives of 26 January.”
Jack Manning-Bancroft, Founder and CEO of AIME, says: “Australia Day represents pain and mourning for many Australians, including our first Australians. It also represents immense pride for many Aussies, reflecting on how far we’ve come. The past has been written. What I love about triple j and the Hottest 100 is that we have a chance to speak to millions of Australians and provide a platform to shape a narrative for the future filled with colour, joy and love of our difference.”
“It’s a dream to be working with triple j again for the Hottest 100. Last year we raised over $100K, which has catapulted us to be working with over 6,000 Indigenous kids, up from 4,500 the year before. We want to change the way Australia operates and couldn’t think of a better partner to help make that happen than triple j.”
Vote for this year’s triple j’s Hottest 100 here.
Extracts taken from www.abc.net.au.