Rock for Recognition

Campaigning for change article written on the 23 Aug 2012

A new series of concerts called Rock for Recognition have been initiated in order to raise awareness and promote the need for recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Australian Constitution.

The inaugural Rock for Recognition headlined by Dan Sultan will tour to Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and Fremantle and features a varied bill of artists including sultry songstress Leah Flanagan and the genre-jumping PBS DJ Ken Eavel. Other artists are likely to join the bill as word about the concerts gains momentum.

Being a proud Gurindji man, Dan Sultan will ensure that Rock for Recognition is one hell of a roof-raising concert event. Changing the actual Constitution however will be a lot harder, with any change to the Constitution requiring a successful referendum. This was achieved in 1967 to recognise Australia’s First Peoples as part of the Australian population, when more than 90% of voters said yes to change. The 1967 experience shows us that change is possible.

“We need to harness the goodwill and sense of fairness of the Australian people to build momentum to change the Constitution– we need you to take the conversation to your schools, unis, workplaces, sporting clubs, and communities.” – Jody Broun, Co-Chair of the National Congress.

The intention for Rock for Recognition is to build awareness around this issue so when the time to vote arrives the general Australian public can make an informed decision to bring the Australian Constitution into the 21st century and recognise the unique cultures of Australia’s First Peoples.

Australia’s Constitution is silent with respect to the cultures and languages of Australia’s First Peoples. It is also perhaps the only founding document in the world which still contains a ‘races power’ that allows the Parliament to enact racially discriminatory laws.

Rock For Recognition Tour Dates
November 8, The Corner Hotel, Melbourne
Dan Sultan with Leah Flanagan & DJ Ken Eavel

November 9, The Factory Theatre, Sydney
Dan Sultan with Leah Flanagan & Dead Marines

November 10, Bakery Artrage, Perth
Dan Sultan with Leah Flanagan & Wolves at the Door

November 11, Fly By Night, Fremantle
Dan Sultan with Leah Flanagan & Wolves at the Door

Bookings and more info go to www.dansultan.com

Rock for Recognition is presented by ANTaR and Oxfam Australia with the support of the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples, YouMeUnity and The Harbour Agency.

Read more about the campaign to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in the Australian Constitution.