Timed to coincide with the controversial Australia Day holiday, a comedy gala is being held to raise awareness of what the date means to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.
The Reconciliation Comedy Gala will be held at the Malthouse Theatre on 26 January, and will feature a number of comedy greats in the line-up.
Expected to run for around three hours, all of the funds from the show will go towards the City of Yarra’s Stolen Generations Marker Project.
According to Yarra City Council, the Marker Project aims to “honour the struggles of the Stolen Generations as well as acknowledge the resilience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families, communities, clans and groups who seek to heal from the past.”
Aimed to be completed in November, the project will invite 5 artists to contribute design ideas intended to remind people of the impacts inflicted by past racist government actions on the Indigenous Australian people.
Malthouse Theatre Associate Producer Jason Tamiru said that “the Reconciliation Gala will feature a selection of Australia’s most prominent comedians, and promote recognition of Australia’s Stolen Generation.”
The bill will feature Australian comedy and music greats including MCs Uncle Jack Charles and Judith Lucy, along with Wil Anderson, Tom Ballard, Anne Edmonds, Hannah Gadsby, Tom Gleeson, Shiralee Hood, Kevin Kropinyeri, Bunna Lawrie, Perfect Tripod (Eddie Perfect and Tripod), Dane Simpson, Nelly Thomas, and The Koori Youth Will Shake Spears dance group.
In the comedy business for seven years, Australia’s Number One Female Aboriginal Comedian Shiralee Hood says it’s time to deepen the conversation surrounding Australia Day, and invite others to listen to the struggles experienced by the Stolen Generations.
As we begin to see a growing number of Australians recognising the sadness behind Australia Day, Ms Hood agrees that now is the perfect time to educate. Ms Hood said comedy has helped to establish a platform where people can discuss global and political issues light-heartedly.
“Comedy is a great form of observing the world and then expressing what we see in society,” she said.
Ms Hood has hope that we can all come together and acknowledge those families affected by the Stolen Generations.
“I feel privileged to be able to represent the Indigenous community and have a great platform to do so,” she said.
Ms Hood is looking forward to the gala, and invites everyone to get along to the Malthouse Theatre for a laugh and to listen to the show’s message.
The Reconciliation Comedy Gala will be held at the Malthouse Theatre on January 26 from 2:30 pm.
Check out the Malthouse Theatre website for further details on ticket sales and prices.
Written by Grace Evans