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LABOUR OF LOVE: Rob Canning and Peter Lister
LABOUR OF LOVE: Rob Canning and Peter Lister

Urunga’s Rob Canning and Peter Lister might come from different backgrounds but they found they had a lot in common when it came to the politics of January 26.

“We started talking about this last year after another video, one of Barbara Weaver singing at the Australia Day Awards ceremony in Urunga, went viral,” Peter said.

“We both knew something needed to be done and this is where it has led ...”

That seed has now grown into a fabulous video that unites not only Urunga residents, in images and in spirit, but invites us all to join this seaside town’s ‘Australia’s Day – the People’s Day’ event on January 26.

“We’ve added an apostrophe and an ‘s’ to try and take the divisiveness and the politics out of it.”

They have also added the tag: ‘the People’s Day’.

Rob says the day will be modelled on ANZAC Day – something that both honours and celebrates history.

“We want to create something sharp and respectful … this is like a fresh start, something that steps away from the old messages and offers a new direction,” Rob said.

And while flags are welcome, it is gum leaves that will be waved most enthusiastically.

The video itself is a labour of love that started with a casting call and snowballed to include much of the town.

“It’s taken hours and hours but has been so much fun and we’ve had lots of laughs,” Peter said.

Rob did his homework, speaking widely with other Aboriginal people to keep the indigenous aspects of the video as general and inclusive as possible, and Peter worked to do the same with his camera skills.

Cameron Smith came on board with his drone for some amazing aerial video and Barry Murphy made the music work by solving a copyright glitch.

And here it … see for yourself:

From here the plan is to set up a website and share the DIY steps of the video and the event in the hope that others might catch on and take up the ‘Australia’s Day’ theme.

But first there is the event itself – starting at 8am, Morgo St Reserve, Urunga on January 26 – be there and be moved. Bring your family and share in this gum leaf celebration.

And by the way, after only two days online the video has had 11,000 views and hundreds of shares!

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