Sydney Peace Foundation is thrilled to announce that Midnight Oil will be awarded its prestigious Gold Medal for Human Rights in a special event on 26 November 2020.

“Midnight Oil is and has for decades been an Australian human rights trailblazer,” said Archie Law, Chair of the Sydney Peace Foundation. “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 an occasional Award given to those who show commitment to the pursuit of human rights over an extended period – and with a powerful, far-reaching impact. The Sydney Peace Foundation is delighted to announce Midnight Oil as the first band to win the Medal that has also been conferred on the likes of Nelson Mandela, co-author of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Stéphane Hessel, and former UN Climate Chief Christiana Figueres.”

Peter Garrett, Martin Rotsey, Jim Moginie, and Rob Hirst will join in conversation with award-winning writer, journalist and proud Wiradjuri, Kamilaroi and Dharawal man, Stan Grant, in an exclusive, live-streamed event on 26 November to receive the Award.  They will be joined by two-time ARIA Award winner and chart topper Jessica Mauboy, performing a specially prepared live tribute.

Speaking on behalf of the band, lead singer Peter Garrett said: “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.”

“Midnight Oil has inspired a generation of activists and continues to do so,” said David Ritter, CEO of Greenpeace Australia Pacific. “That is especially the case in the area of justice and environmental activism and is the reason Greenpeace Australia Pacific is proud to partner with the Sydney Peace Foundation on presenting this Medal.”

“In 2020, the Sydney Peace Foundation has been focusing on recognising the work of champions of climate justice,” said Mr Law. “From fronting the offices of Exxon in New York in 1990, to being the sound of the Australian anti-uranium movement, to highlighting the scourge of environmental vandalism in their 2017 ‘Great Circle’ tour, Midnight Oil have brought attention to environmental justice again and again.


“Their latest album, The Makarrata Project is set to be released on 30 October. It focuses squarely on the unfinished business of true reconciliation, with the aim of highlighting the Uluru Statement from the Heart,” he said.


Tickets are on sale now to attend the Special Live-stream Event & Award Ceremony at 6.30pm on 26 November, featuring Midnight Oil in conversation, and music by Jessica Mauboy. Get them at: