Midnight Oil – Peter Garrett, Martin Rotsey, Jim Moginie, and Rob Hirst – will be awarded the prestigious Sydney Peace Foundation Gold Medal for their human rights activism, the organisation announced today (October 14).
In a press statement, chariman Archie Law said, “Midnight Oil is and has for decades been an Australian human rights trailblazer.
“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 a rare award granted to people or organisations who “show commitment to the pursuit of human rights over an extended period”.
Though they will join the ranks of previous recipients such as Nelson Mandela and former UN Climate Chief Christiana Figueres, Midnight Oil are the first band in the award’s history to be recognised in this prestigious category.
In a ceremony set to take place on November 26, journalist Stan Grant – a Wiradjuri, Kamilaroi and Dharawal man – will present the award to Midnight Oil.
Speaking for Midnight Oil, Garrett said that “The struggle for peace – and its partner justice – is universal and has occupied the centre of our music and activism for decades now.
“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.”