3AW’s drivetime presenter Tom Elliott is not known for his sensitivity to our First Australians. In fact, his rhetoric often borders on full-blown racism.
Here is an exact quote of an Elliott comment broadcast on 3AW originally broadcast on June 29, 2017, still available as a podcast on June 29, 2020 and recently edited to remove this insensitive statement. (I have kept copies of the both the unedited edition from downloaded June 30, 2020 and the edited version downloaded today 17 August, 2020) . Elliott’s exact words were … “We don’t really know what happened to the stolen generation. For example, there is some evidence to suggest that mixed raced children were not wanted by aboriginal tribes and given away”.
I put that quote to Indigenous music legend Kev Carmody who told Noise11.com, “Tell him to listen to Archie Roach, that phenomenal song ‘They Took The Children Away’. That’s just down from where he is broadcasting, Framlingham, Victoria. There were so many people taken away. It’s been a big hidden thing. Also the massacres that happened in this country. My old grandfather, he came from Cape York, crocodile country. He used to tell us about the times the station owners were shooting them. When you look at that fellow from 3AW, everyone is going on with Mr Trump about fake news, but that’s all those fellows are broadcasting”.
I also put an official complaint to 3AW under the Commercial Radio Australia Codes of Practice. Despite the comment still available to be streamed on the 3AW website (at the time of the complaint dated June 30, 2020) it was disregarded because according to the 3AW Complaints Response Team “to be valid under the Code the complaint must be received within 30 days of the relevant broadcast” and “a complainant must have heard the relevant broadcast live on radio within Australia on the Station. Your complaint cites a podcast link, which indicates that you heard the broadcast on the internet”.
That may be a legal obligation. It is certainly not a moral obligation.
My complaint on June 30, 2020 was sparked because another insensitive Elliott comment on 29 June, 2020. While talking about the Australian government’s Jobkeeper and Jobseeker program Elliott diverted the topic to yet another racial slur against the indigenous community inferring Jobseeker (what was once called The Dole) “in the indigenous community they refer to it as sit-down money. If you have too much welfare people don’t have the incentive to get off their backside and do things”. For starters the topic was about government assistance in Covid times yet Elliott still somehow managed to sway the topic and belittle indigenous Australians.
Kev Carmody says that racism presented as editorial by the likes of the Tom Elliott’s needs to stop. “We’ve just got to change that concept of them being in-charge of mainstream radio,” Kev said. “The advertisers can stop that stuff. That’s what it comes to. It’s like Rio Tinto blowing up the sacred place in Western Australia. It’s the shareholders and it’s the advertisers. They can stop it and unless they do, they are supporting it. We can work through the advertisers”.
Unfortunately, 3AW can turn a blind eye to racism when a legal out clause lets them off the hook but the public can react to their lack of morals. “Let’s get onto this 3AW fellow,” Kev said. “We won’t worry about him (Elliott) because he is a DH. We’ll get to the people who advertise on that radio station and say “right, you’ve got to do something about this”.
For the record, both the ‘stolen generation’ and the ‘sit-down money’ statements were broadcast on radio in Australia and the broadcasts later uploaded as podcasts.
Both occurred on June 29. One in 2020, one in 2017. The 2017 was incorrectly linked to the 2020 date after the 2020 show which was how I found it. Inexplicably, Elliott made both racial slurs on June 29 three years to the day apart in the same hour of his show. However, insensitive Indigenous comments occur often in his program.
The June 29, 2020 comment about sit-down money can be heard 1:24:00 in:
The original June 29, 2017 comment about the stolen generation has since had the offensive comment edited out but Noise11 downloaded the original podcast and has the original voice grab. A very obvious edit can be heard here at 1:16:14 after Elliott says the school has done a stupid thing.
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