Change the date

The objective of this assessment was to design a poster that addresses a social issue. It needed to have a clear message, and be designed for a public space.

 

Changing the date of Australia Day: project proposal

In August 2017, The Yarra and Darebin Councils in Victoria moved to change the date of
Australia Day in their areas. This was driven by the date’s negative association with the
British invasion of land once possessed by indigenous peoples (SBS News, 2017).

Earlier that month, radio broadcaster Triple J surveyed Australians about the issue of changing the date of the Hottest 100 Countdown, usually held on January 26th (ABC News, 2017). The survey sparked renewed public dialogue about this contentious and long-running debate.

We conducted an observation of students’ responses to a provoking campaign image, surveyed Brisbane residents and Facebook users, undertook a comment analysis of online news articles and conducted interviews with council members and indigenous spokesmen.

This poster was inspired by a contradiction between findings of the online survey and statements made by Attorney General George Brandis (ABC News, 2017). Brandis outlined that there was a “natural logic about the 26th of January as the point in time at which the Australia we now recognise, modern Australia, had its beginning.”

He indicated that Australia Day was a day to celebrate the good, inclusive nation that we have become and a time for reflecting on the “blemishes” in our history. It is well documented that for many Australians, January 26th is a day of mourning.

In contrast, the majority of the survey respondents suggested that Australia Day was simply an opportunity to hang out with friends and family and “have a cheeky beer.”

This project attempts to develop the idea of putting new ‘meaning’ into Australia Day. To affect a change in culture, attitudes and ultimately improve the willingness of the broader population to accept a change in date.