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Midnight Oil to be Awarded Sydney Peace Foundation’s Gold Medal for Human Rights

Midnight Oil join previous winners of the medal such as Nelson Mandela, and former UN Climate Chief Christiana Figueres.

Press image of Midnight Oil

Midnight Oil have been recognised for their activism by the Sydney Peace Foundation.

Daniel Boud*

Midnight Oil have once again been honoured for their activism, with the Sydney Peace Foundation set to award the veteran rockers their Gold Medal for Human Rights in a ceremony next month.

Announced today, the group will be given the award on November 26th, with Peter Garrett, Martin Rotsey, Jim Moginie, and Rob Hirst joining in a conversation with award-winning writer, journalist and proud Wiradjuri, Kamilaroi, and Dharawal man, Stan Grant, as part of an exclusive, live-streamed event. The group will also be joined by Jessica Mauboy for a specially prepared live tribute.

“Midnight Oil is and has for decades been an Australian human rights trailblazer,” said Sydney Peace Foundation Chair, Archie Law. “This Medal is in recognition of that relentless focus, and in particular for their environmental activism, their humanity and their drive to promote justice through both their music and their actions.”

“The Gold Medal for Human Rights is an occasional Award given to those who show commitment to the pursuit of human rights over an extended period – and with a powerful, far-reaching impact. The Sydney Peace Foundation is delighted to announce Midnight Oil as the first band to win the Medal that has also been conferred on the likes of Nelson Mandela, co-author of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Stéphane Hessel, and former UN Climate Chief Christiana Figueres.”

“The struggle for peace – and its partner justice – is universal and has occupied the centre of our music and activism for decades now,” frontman Peter Garrett said in a statement on behalf of the band.

“Today real peace means reaching a lasting settlement with the First Nations people of this country and includes taking immediate action to protect our seriously threatened environment for once and for all.”

Tickets to the live-streamed even and award ceremony honouring the band are on sale now.

News of this honour comes just two weeks before the release of the group’s first record in 18 years, with The Makarrata Project set to arrive on October 30th. In true Midnight Oil fashion, the songs on the new mini-album focus heavily on “unfinished business of true reconciliation, with the aim of highlighting the Uluru
Statement from the Heart”, as Law explains.

Midnight Oil’s The Makarrata Project will be released on October 30th, with pre-orders available now.