Jimmy Barnes Doubles Down On Voice Support: 'People Can Say What They Like'

6 October 2023 | 8:53 am | Mary Varvaris

"People can say what they like about me, but I’m always going to stick up for what I believe in."

Jimmy Barnes

Jimmy Barnes (Credit: Benjamin Rodgers)

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Jimmy Barnes is standing up for the Yes vote in the Indigenous Voice To Parliament referendum and defending himself and other Australian musicians who have openly said Yes.

Speaking in a new interview with The Guardian Australia, the Cold Chisel frontman and iconic solo artist said, “To separate politics and music is like separating love and music. It’s about what you feel, what you’re passionate about. People can say what they like about me, but I’m always going to stick up for what I believe in.”

Referencing his upbringing as an immigrant from Scotland, Barnes supports the Indigenous Voice To Parliament as someone who believes Australia is about giving people a “fair go”.

He continued, “The chance to get up and give [Indigenous Australians] a voice, to be recognised for who they are, their history and art and music and everything they’ve brought to this country, and have a say in their own future – it makes sense to me.”

Disliking the politics and division that have plagued disagreements about the Indigenous Voice To Parliament referendum, Barnes added, “It’s about Australians being decent human beings and reaching out our hands and shaking hands and listening.”

And despite having loudly outspoken critics, Barnes believes that they can have their own opinions and voice them, and so can he.

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Midnight Oil, John Williamson, John Farnham, Briggs, Paul Kelly and more have been vocal supporters of the Yes23 campaign for the Indigenous Voice To Parliament referendum.

Williamson released two new songs for Yes, Voice From The Heart and Uluru Forever. “Ever since I walked around Uluru in the mid-80s, its power has stayed with me as the true heart of our nation,” Williamson said about Uluru Forever in a statement.

In early September, John Farnham offered his classic unifying single You’re The Voice to Yes. “This song changed my life. I can only hope that now it might help, in some small way, to change the lives of our First Nations Peoples for the better,” Farnham explained in a press release.

“Recognition is not achieved with fine-sounding words and feel-good statements but by promising to listen,” Paul Kelly wrote on Facebook in support of the Yes campaign before releasing a new song, If Not Now. “There is a huge and stubborn gap in health, education and opportunities between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.”

Meanwhile, today in Shepparton, numerous Aussie icons are coming together for Now & Forever festival. A.B. Original, Baker Boy, Barkaa, Emma Donovan, Hilltop Hoods, Jimmy Barnes, Mo’Ju and Paul Kelly are scheduled to perform, with comedian Sam Pang on hosting duties.

“We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to write our future together, and the artists on the bill have signed up for that,” festival curator and A.B. Original’s Briggs said. “This is about celebration, inclusivity, solidarity, positivity and listening as much as it is about a voice. In that spirit, everyone is welcome to the show - even the undecided voters. And if you don’t know, just come to the show.”