January 26 and ARTRAGE Position Statement

ARTRAGE is a non-for-profit registered arts and cultural organisation, whose purpose is to enrich and evolve the culture of Western Australia by creating open artistic opportunities for audiences and artists. 

ARTRAGE supports #ChangeTheDate, so that the national day of celebration can include all Australians. ARTRAGE also supports the Uluru Statement from the Heart and the Indigenous Voice to Parliament. 

ARTRAGE has composed this position statement regarding the January 26 public holiday, so that we can reflect our support of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and our commitment towards reconciliation and healing. 

The statement relates to ARTRAGE and the venues that the organisation manages for FRINGE WORLD Festival and Rooftop Movies. 

ARTRAGE recognises the diversity of views surrounding January 26 that exist within our community. Some view the day as an opportunity to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ survival as the longest continuing culture on earth within the story of the modern Australian nation. We respect the many feelings that people have about January 26, including those for whom January 26 is a day of mourning, not a day of celebration. 

January 26 falls during FRINGE WORLD Festival and many venues, including ARTRAGE Managed Hubs, will be open and presenting shows. Artists performing in ARTRAGE Managed Hubs can choose whether to perform on January 26, and ARTRAGE will respect and accommodate those who do not want to perform. Independent events and venues can choose whether they present shows on January 26. 

ARTRAGE’s primary communications aim for January 26 is to promote the shows presenting at FRINGE WORLD. Our secondary aim will be to share stories and viewpoints from our artists, customers and other stakeholders about what January 26 means to them.  

The January 26 public holiday falls within the Rooftop Movies season dates. Rooftop Movies will continue to close operations on the day, due to reduced City of Perth Parking staff operations and access to City of Perth Parking spaces on public holidays. At a time when the Public Holiday date is reviewed, Rooftop Movies operations will also be amended to accommodate a change in date.  

ARTRAGE employees will have leave entitlements for the day, in line with the Fair Work act. As with any peaceful protest, staff are entitled to participate in protests relating to January 26. 

We welcome feedback regarding this position statement and suggestions regarding what further ARTRAGE can do in relation to reconciliation. Send feedback to hello@artrage.com.au.

ARTRAGE is in the process of undertaking a Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan, which will be revealed in mid 2024.