Hottest 100 to air on Australia Day next year despite mounting pressure to switch date

Triple J has refused to bow to public pressure and confirmed the Hottest 100 countdown will be broadcast on Australia Day next year at least.


While it has refused to change the date from Australia Day, which many Indigenous people regard as Invasion Day, the ABC-owned network has said the airdate for future years is “under review”.

This morning Pedestrian.TV revealed Triple J had had some heated internal meetings over plans to change the date from the January 26 public holiday.

And in a move to placate those pushing for change, the station this afternoon said it will again work in partnership with the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME) a scheme which supports Indigenous children through high school and into university, training and employment.

Triple J and AIME worked together in 2015 with listeners raising $100,000.

The broadcast, which counts down a listener-voted poll of the best tracks played by the youth-oriented network the previous year, has become synonymous with the date for many, with Hottest 100 parties a common event.

In a statement, Triple J acknowledged recent controversy surrounding its broadcast date but said it “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”.

“As part of this commitment, triple j is proud to announce that we’re once again teaming up with the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME) for the Hottest 100,” it said.

“Every year millions of Australians get involved in the Hottest 100 at home and overseas. By working with AIME, triple j hopes to use this wide-reaching platform to create a meaningful connection between all communities, including Indigenous Australians.”

Triple J content director Ollie Wards said: “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.”

AIME founder and chief executive Jack Manning-Bancroft added: “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.”

The news will disappoint those pushing for a date change, which include Indigenous communities and organisations, who argued Australia Day commemorates an invasion of their country, and should not be a celebration.

Inclusion of the Hottest 100 countdown, however, is synonymous with young Australians gathering at barbecues and drinking and attending festivals on a day that marks the arrival of the First Fleet.

Two opposing petitions are running on Change.og. One urging Triple J to change the date was launched one month ago and has 3370 signatures, while a petition calling for the countdown to remain was set up earlier today and, at time of publication, had 273 signatures.


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