KIIS FM presenter Kyle Sandilands of the Kyle and Jackie O Show has taken aim at the “woke industry of the media” for the current debate around Australia Day.
“Let me tell you, those who aren’t happy with Australia Day, don’t have a holiday! Go to work,” said the 52-year-old shock jock.
Many companies within the media industry do allow staff to work on Australia Day, instead letting staff take the time off to use on a cultural event they feel more appropriate — such as Diwali or during Ramadan.
Sandilands then attacked what he perceived as a double standard around Australia Day.
“I can’t believe I have to thank everyone for letting us use the land, but we’re not allowed to celebrate it on a national holiday,” he said.
It follows a similar outburst over the weekend from Sandilands during an interview with opposition leader Peter Dutton who has called on Aussies to boycott Woolworths after it said it would not be selling Australia Day merch.
“Australia Day is exactly one week from today, January 26, and I know some folks don’t like that date, but that’s the date. It’s there, it’s been there for as long as I can recall. It’s one week away, all the anti-Australia Day types have been out,” Sandilands said.
“People want us to feel guilty. I don’t feel guilty. I don’t feel guilty at all about the day”.
While Australia Day marks the landing of the First Fleet in 1788 when the first governor of the British colony of New South Wales, Arthur Philip, hoisted the Union Jack at Sydney Cove, its celebration over the years has been inconsistent. There have been commemoration services held on the day since the 1810s but none of these were called Australia Day with the first “Australia Day” being held on 30 July 1915. The states and Commonwealth only agreed to unify on Australia Day on 26 January in 1946.
However, while Sandilands may rage that media types are trying to make us feel guilty over Australia Day, it seems as though many in the country are simply apathetic to the culture warring over the day. YouGov research found that only 20 per cent of Australians supported Dutton’s call to boycott Woolies over its decision not to see Australia Day merch and just 14 per cent said that they supported the retailer. Two-thirds say their main concern is excessive prices in supermarkets.
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