Sydney electronic duo, The Presets, have released a heartfelt message on social media urging fans to consider the meaning behind the Australia Day public holiday -- and why they won't be celebrating.
For some, Australia Day is typically a day marked by poolside beers and barbecues with friends as we celebrate the beginnings of our country as we know it. But for First Nation people, January 26 has an entirely different meaning; the coming of the tall ships in Sydney Harbour a memory of cultures stripped and land dispossessed.
"To all our friends and fans out there who are gearing up to celebrate it, we wish you all the very best," the band said on its Facebook page on Monday night.
"Just like you, we know there is so much for Australians to be immensely proud of, and we wholeheartedly argue that those things should be celebrated. We will not, however, be celebrating tomorrow."
"For the indigenous people who were here long before those boats came, January 26 marks the beginning of the end of their way or life -- a way of life that they had enjoyed for over 40 000 years. January 26 is the day white man arrived with his guns, his alcohol, his church, his flues and other unknown illnesses," the duo wrote on Facebook.
"Out of all the days of the year that we could possibly choose to celebrate this wonderful nation of Australia, we think it's frankly sickening that we continue to celebrate on this cruellest of anniversaries, January 26."
In the post, the duo acknowledge that a day of celebration is warranted -- but they argue it is one that can be commemorated by all sides.
"We look forward to a time where a new day is chosen to celebrate our great nation -- a day that we can all truly get behind."
The band, known for being unafraid to weigh into Australia's political scene, encouraged their fans to "put our heads together and try and come up with something better."
"January 1 -- our day of Federation as a nation -- has been widely suggested...or maybe, just maybe, it is the day in the future when this nation finally becomes a Republic? Imagine that..."
"Whatever day we choose, it must be something that all Australians can truly get behind once and for all."
The post -- that has been shared over 3 thousand times -- has received a mixed response from supporters and detractors.
"Do the indigenous Australians have a problem with Australia Day?? Or are you guys just pushing your own agenda again? You have a reputation for it," wrote one Facebook user.
Another wrote: "... look how many people are talking about it and perhaps even thinking about it for the first time. Using your large fan base to share a message is an action."