A campaign has been launched demanding that US oil giant Chevron be dumped as sponsor of the National Australia Day Council (NADC).
Chevron is the ‘diversity and inclusion’ partner of the NADC, which runs Australia Day events and Australian of the Year awards.
This follows revelations that Grace Tame, refused to attend Chevron events while the Australian of the Year in 2021.
While speaking at the Purpose Conference in Sydney in October, Tame explained how Australian of the Year recipients are coerced into appearing at Chevron events by the NADC as a condition of receiving travel funding.
“They provide you with a capped out sum of $40,000 worth of travel reimbursement on the condition that you do free gigs for their sponsors, which are, Chevron… noooo, no way, nah.
“So I did do some free gigs for their other Australia Day councils in the state and territory locations, one of which was in Perth and on the day they wanted me to do something for Chevron, and I just said ‘nup’ and I didn’t do it,” she said.
As part of the sponsorship deal, Chevron has representatives on the state bodies that choose Australian of the Year recipients. An analysis has found that the 2022 state and territory selection panels with Chevron staff members (WA, NT, QLD) did not recognise any Australians that worked in climate and environment in any category but all the others (ACT, NSW, TAS, VIC) did.
Comms Declare, an industry body representing hundreds of workers in advertising, media, PR and marketing, wrote a letter to NADC CEO, Karlie Brand, about the Chevron sponsorship.
Belinda Noble, founder of Comms Declare said, “The Chevron sponsorship shows our national brand is for sale, along with the government’s climate credibility.
“Chevron is the world’s second largest greenhouse gas polluter and paid just $30 in income tax last year while raking in more than $9 billion.”
“It’s hard to imagine a less appropriate sponsor of any national event than a fossil fuel company whose pollution is actively causing the destruction of our Aussie lifestyle and natural wonders.
“It’s clear that Chevron staff are influencing the selection of Australians of the Year and that is stopping the recognition of citizens that work on the biggest challenge the country faces – global warming.
“We need a tobacco-style ban on all fossil fuel sponsorships to disentangle our public institutions from this polluting influence,” she added.
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