The all-new, revamped version of The Today Show is only in its first week on the air, but already it’s showing it can be a positive, driving national voice on tough issues of great importance, largely thanks to the inclusion of the exceptionally good Brooke Boney.
The former Triple J Breakfast newsreader scored the plum gig as the show’s new entertainment reporter, in place of the long-serving Richard Wilkins, but for the first week of her tenure she’s been sitting on the main panel as the show broadcasts from the Australian Open. It’s a move that’s already paying big dividends.
Boney got to use her new platform this morning to give an impassioned speech on the issues surrounding January 26 and Australia Day, as the calendar marches through January and the debate surrounding the day once again fires up.
Recounting her experience as a Gamilaroi woman, Boney noted that statistically speaking her brothers are far more likely to go to jail than they are to go to school, and that it’s because of issues like that – where the gap between services and privileges afford to First Nations people versus other communities in Australia is so vast – that she does not feel comfortable celebrating Australia Day on January 26; not because of any sense of non-patriotism, but rather because we don’t, at present, formally acknowledge the struggles and torment inflicted upon First Nations people by white settlement.
"This is the best country in the world no doubt. But I can't separate the 26th of January from the fact that my brothers are more likely to go to jail than they are to go to school" says @BoneyBrooke, a proud Gamilaroi woman. #9Today pic.twitter.com/fJRzobPeTG— The Today Show (@TheTodayShow) January 16, 2019
That’s a remarkable point of view to be aired on Australian TV at all, let alone from an Indigenous woman on the panel of a major commercial TV breakfast show, and let alone in her first week on the job.
Could certainly have done with a bit less of Tony Jones interjecting himself and trying to shut the discussion down with tired talking points, but that this went to air at all is certainly a good sign for the future of the show.
Brooke Boney should’ve been on TV eons ago. But good lord is it ever a good thing that she’s there now.