Street artist Scottie Marsh has taken aim at Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s controversial Australia Day comments, and his refusal to acknowledge January 26 as a day of mourning for First Nations Australians.
His latest work, in Sydney’s inner-city suburb of Newtown, shows Morrison depicted as Captain Cook on a beach with a spear in his chest.
Titled ‘Captain Cooked’, the Morrison/Cook caricature holds a Hawaiian cocktail - a jibe at the leader’s 2019 family summer holiday when Australia battled through the deadliest bushfire season on record.
“Pretty flash mural,” the artist wrote on Instagram. “Read the room @scottmorrisonmp.”
Morrison has repeatedly stood by his opinion that Australia’s national day should be celebrated on January 26 despite it being the anniversary of massacre and dispossession for Indigenous Australians.
January 26 is known to many Australians as Invasion Day. It’s the date Sir Arthur Phillip stuck a flagpole in the sand at Sydney’s Woolloomooloo in 1788, and the date Australia ceased to be controlled by the people who have lived here and maintained the land for more than 60,000 years.
The PM told journalists last week Australia Day represents how far the country has come since the First Fleet arrived.
“It wasn’t a particularly flash day for the people on those vessels either,” he said, referring to the convicts sent to colonise a land that was deemed uninhabited and free to take by Captain Cook 18 years prior.
Morrison also criticised a decision by cricket authorities to no longer refer to January 26 as “Australia Day”.
Morrison last month changed the national anthem from “for we are young and free” to “for we are one and free” amid calls to recognise its Indigenous people are the oldest continuous civilisation in the world.
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