Jason Williamson: Indigenous performers right to Choice

In light of Anthony Mundine’s comments about the Australian National Anthem and references to Jessica Mauboy performing it,  JWM has received numerous media requests asking for my comments on why managers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander performers allow Indigenous Artists to perform the Anthem.

Each person JWM represents has the right to CHOICE.  This is company policy across all clients regardless of cultural background.

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Christine Anu. (Photograph: Pedro Virgil)

If an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander performer decides to perform the Anthem we always encourage the third party client to:

a) allow the performer to have the right to perform the Anthem in English and their language, or to seek cultural permission to perform the Anthem in the local language; and

b) to ensure the client follows cultural protocol by delivering a Welcome to Country or Acknowledgement to Country prior to the delivery of the Anthem. If the Anthem is being televised or broadcast for media purposes, we also encourage the third party to also televise or broadcast the Welcome/Acknowledgement to Country.

If a client declines these requests, the performer still has the CHOICE to perform the Anthem or not.  A decision that is supported by JWM.

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Marcus Corowa (Supplied)

As advocates of diversity and inclusion in the Australian Entertainment Industry JWM always encourages third parties to:

a) follow cultural protocol even when the Anthem is not performed;

b) include songs in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages to be performed in commercial arenas (television, radio, corporate, and when representing Australia on an International scale); and

c) for Indigenous performers to be included in all major and significant events, activations, television shows and campaigns in Australia.

JWM promotes and advocates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander performers, their individuality and right to personal CHOICE.

Greater intellectual conversations need to be had around the Anthem and the future of the song.

JWM adore and respect Jessica Mauboy and her management.

– Jason Williamson –