• Witiyana Marika, a Rirratjingu leader and founder of the Indigenous music group Yothu Yindi. (NITV)Source: NITV
One of the country's most iconic bands says it does not support a national holiday that is not inclusive of all Australians.
Greg Dunlop

27 Jan 2019 - 12:07 AM  UPDATED 27 Jan 2019 - 12:41 AM

Yothu Yindi, the Indigenous band best known for the protest song Treaty, have clarified their position about whether January 26 is an appropriate date to celebrate the national day of Australia.

The Arnhem Land band performed at Parramatta yesterday as part of official festivities organised by the NSW state government.

When asked if he supported changing the date earlier this month, Yothu Yindi co-founder Witiyana Marika said that he wanted to “celebrate” instead of fighting.

But in a statement, the Rirratjingu leader clarified the band’s position on the issue.

“As First Nation Australians, our position on Australia Day is that we do not support a day that is not inclusive of all Australians,” he told NITV.

“The lyrics from Dr M Yunupingu, as featured in the Yothu Yindi songs Treaty and Djapana are the foundation of the legacy by which we stand.”

“Until treaty has been fully realised in this country, we will continue to capitalise on our status as one of Australia’s leading voices in music and use every performance platform to advocate on issues that affect our people.”

“The Australia Day Live Concert featuring a performance by Yothu Yindi and The Treaty Project, will be beamed into millions of homes across this great country of ours. We encourage audiences to listen to the messages in our songs, as we stand in solidarity with all Indigenous Communities across our country."

Brooke Boney brings an Indigenous perspective on January 26 to breakfast TV
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‘I want to change my people’: Yothu Yindi support Australia Day on January 26
One of the band’s founders said he does not support protests on the national holiday or changing the date.