Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

Image. Advertisement:

Affirm to boycott Australia Day public holiday

Affirm Press has announced it will boycott Australia Day on 26 January in support of the movement to change the date of the holiday to one that is more inclusive of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

In a statement on its website, the Melbourne-based publisher said staff had unanimously voted to work on the public holiday and will select another day in the coming weeks as a replacement holiday.

Publishing director Martin Hughes said Affirm staff had been ‘moved by local councils and other institutions deciding to boycott the date’ and encouraged the industry to ‘[join] the public conversation’.

‘We are a small company with just eleven staff so it’s easy enough for us to make this change, and I understand the same decision would be a greater challenge for a large company,’ said Hughes. ‘But as an industry, we should be joining the public conversation and giving our staff a chance to express their wishes on something of such national significance. I’m also thinking that productivity will rocket that day, and everyone will get in early because there’ll be no traffic!’

Hughes said he would vote for 13 February as an alternative date, ‘as it commemorates the government’s apology to the Stolen Generation’. ‘We have not kicked on since that momentous occasion ten years ago but, when history reflects on this century, that date could still mark the birth of what will hopefully become a new and inclusive Australian identity,’ said Hughes.


Category: Local news