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Singer Shane Howard gives back Order of Australia medal over Voice to Parliament result

Singer Shane Howard gives back Order of Australia medal over Voice to Parliament result

The Goanna frontman said he’s ‘deeply saddened’ by the result on Saturday.

Singer-songwriter Shane Howard has returned his Order of Australia medal following the unsuccessful Voice to Parliament referendum.

The Goanna frontman behind the hit song ‘Solid Rock’, which details the land rights issues for Indigenous Australians, said he’s ‘deeply saddened’ the Yes team failed to get the green light.

“At this point in history, I can’t be proud of my nation and feel honour bound to return my Order of Australia medal,” Howard wrote in a letter to the Governor-General.

“When I wrote the song, 'Solid Rock, Sacred Ground', 40 years ago, I wanted us to address the fundamental lie at the heart of our national story.

"I dreamt of a country respectful of our ancient history and honest about our modern history. I wanted to be proud of my country.”

However, while he loves Australia until it loses its ‘colonial shackles’, he said can’t be proud of the nation.

Howard was awarded the Order of Australia medal, an honour for Australian citizens and other persons for outstanding achievement and service, in 2016.

While speaking to the ABC Victorian Mornings, Howard said he felt compelled to share his view and took aim at the increased spread of misinformation regarding the Yes campaign.

"I copped an enormous amount of abuse that was very intimidating and at times, some stuff that was very, very racist through social media,” he said while comparing the national political landscape to being as decisive as ‘Brexit’ or ‘Donald Trump’.

Following the referendum's result, many celebrities have also spoken out.

While reflecting on the devastating outcome, Triple j Blak Out host and musician Nooky called it ‘the most overt, unconcealed manifestation of racism I have ever experienced in my whole life’.

Chris Hopkins / The Age via Getty Images

In a statement he read on the show, he said: “Yesterday they said our pain and our suffering continues.

“The disadvantage and the inequality continues. But so does our love, our happiness, our strength and our pride.”

He added that ‘regardless of yesterday’s outcome, there was always work to do. It’s just now clear just how much work there is to do’.

While rapper and activist Briggs had a direct message for White Australia.

“The thing is with white people in Aus. You think Blackfullas haven’t faced this depravity before. We’ve faced it everyday. For the ‘No’ it was a SuperBowl. For me it was Saturday,” he wrote via X.

He then took aim at No campaigners Warren Mundine and Jacinta Price, who celebrated Saturday's verdict.

“I just can't wait for Warren & Jacinta to unify the Nation and all the career Uni students to decolonize their emails,” he added.

‘Uni students’ refers to those who add their signature to their email while acknowledging the land's traditional owners, which many First Nations people have described as ‘tokenistic’.

Featured Image Credit: Instagram/goannafella

Topics: News, Racism, Celebrity, Australia, Politics