The conversation to change the date of Australia Day has been steadily gaining traction in 2016, and now one young man from Melbourne is adding his voice to the chorus calling for change.
Kicking off tomorrow will be a competition to change the date of Triple J’s Hottest 100 Countdown. The prize? A Falls Festival camping ticket, valued at around $400.
Triple J is broadcast by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). The Hottest 100 has become something of an institution on January 26 every year, where the public is invited to vote for their favourite song of the year in an online poll.
Brendan Busch says it’s offensive for an organisation like the ABC to encourage celebration on Australia Day, while it "acknowledges and respects" First Nation peoples.
On the competition’s Facebook page, Brendan says he will award his Falls ticket to anyone who "can prove they got Triple J to announce they are changing the date."
He includes a list of ways the public can contact Triple J to place pressure.
But the competition is not simply about changing Triple J's mind – Brendan says the purpose of the 'giveaway' is to target the demographic that listens to the countdown, and often use it as an excuse to "drink and party".
"I’d rather discuss more pressing issues – like everything that is going on in Kalgoorlie, but I understand some of those conversations don’t penetrate certain groups of people," he told NITV.
"I want to get people to acknowledge and address their privilege."
Starting on Tuesday September 6, Brendan will be calling Triple J every day. He is asking the public to join him.
“Each day, until December 25th, a post will be made where you can reply what success you had on speaking with operators and/or radio hosts. The daily post is to prevent notification spam while maintaining pressure and skill share,” the Facebook post reads.
Brendan has already contacted Triple J, but is yet to receive a response.
‘Change the Date’ gaining momentum
The competition is the latest in a series of movements calling for the date of Australia Day to be changed.
Just last month the City of Fremantle voted to end their Australia Day fireworks display, saying it will instead celebrate 'multicultural Australia' on an alternate date.
In a recent collaboration under the title A.B. Original, Yorta-Yorta rapper Briggs, Funkoars' Trials, and Dan Sultan, released a track called 26 January.
The song questions why we continue to celebrate the country on a date that is considered a day of mourning for the country's First Peoples.
And for the past month a petition has been circulating online, also calling on the ABC to change the date of Triple J's Hottest 100. It currently has more than 800 signatures.
"We have to start somewhere"
Brendan says the ticket giveaway might not be the best way to encourage change, but it is one way of reaching a 'key target audience,' and changing their minds.
A post on the event reads:
The ticket giveaway is for a festival celebrated on stolen lands, whose theft every non-Indigenous person benefits from. Having a prize based on dispossession is problematic in itself, and so I am entirely open to reconsidering what becomes of this ticket. However, I also recognise that a key target audience which needs reaching may only be enticed by this. Open to discussion if anyone has a better plan of attack, and I welcome all feedback and criticism regarding this post through messaging.
NITV has contacted Triple J for comment.