Students Jana Humzy and Hanna Osborne are bringing charity and live music together for Adelaide’s 2nd OXJAM
Interview by Imogen Hindson
Editor Imogen Hindson sat down with Adelaide University students Jana and Hanna, who are behind the organisation of Adelaide’s upcoming OXJAM event — a gig raising funds for climate change. We talked about the gig itself, the important work Oxfam is doing to eradicate global poverty, and the necessity of collective action in order to push back against climate change.
Adelaide Uni student Jana explained what OXJAM is all about, “OXJAM is pretty much the name of any gig that’s held in August and September around Australia… the motto that they have is called ‘gigs for good’.”
This year’s event will feature local artists Annita, Oscar the Wilde, and Neon Tetra at Lion Arts Factory on September 20th. Co-organiser and Adelaide student Hanna Osborne commented on why combining charitable events with local musicians is so special, stating “I really love that all artists that we’ve connected with are so eager to get involved… so many local artists have got on board, it’s really great to see the connections being made in different industries and across institutions… [and] it goes beyond OXJAM. I think that AYCC is organising a similar gig soon about the bight.”
We can expect this year to be bigger and better than the last, says Hanna. “Last year’s OXJAM did surprisingly well… we started pretty small last year, it was our first ever year so we had no idea what to expect. I remember stressing out the week before because we’d sold about four tickets… but it was a really exciting experience. In the end, we had 190, maybe 200 people rock up. It was packed, we were really happy with it. This year we just want to make it bigger.”
Last year, OXJAM raised money for their ‘What She Makes’ campaign, focused on paying women who make clothes a fair wage. This year, OXJAM is raising money for a very important cause close to students hearts: climate change.
With the recent climate rallies around Adelaide, Jana explained that it seemed like a natural fit for the event’s theme. “This year, we decided to with climate change, just because it is such a huge issue at the moment and something that a lot of young people are really rallying behind…”
“All over [the country] you’ve got the climate strikes. In fact, there’s also one on the same day [September 20th], in the morning. It was a coincidence, but a great way to get people to come to OXJAM after.”
All of the proceeds raised from the event will go to Oxfam Australia’s Food & Climate Campaign. Adelaide Uni student Jana helped explain what this means, and where your money is really going.
“Most of the things that Oxfam does with the environment with money that’s raised goes towards helping people who have been affected by climate change. It tends to have more of a human rights slant than a preventative measures slant.”
Hanna says this has quite a direct impact on people internationally, as “Oxfam’s work isn’t necessarily directed at Australia, I’d say more so in the Asia Pacific region… a lot of the volunteer work that we do is for advocating in the community for awareness, but Oxfam is definitely focused on programs and funding and initiatives in developing countries for climate change, adaptation and leadership.”
This sort of activism is especially important for Jana and Hanna, and they discussed the best way that individuals can take action against climate change. Although buying products to reduce waste, for example, is important — it’s sometimes more productive to put your money towards collective fundraising where NGOs and other larger-scale bodies can make an active change and place pressure on world leaders.
Hanna explained this position, saying that “I think a lot of climate change action needs to be taken higher up. That’s where the real change will come from.”
H: And of course, you know, buying keep cups and reusable straws and stuff like that is great, and it does make small differences. But if we want to make a more active difference, we need to be demanding that our governments and the corporations and the university takes action to ensure that they’re in line with practices, which are promoting a cleaner environment.
H: It’s like people obviously want to make a difference. And this is a way that they feel like they can, and they are, because one less coffee cup in the ocean is a great thing. Every single time. But obviously, we need to be taking stronger actions.
J: Any action that’s taken is like a good step towards something bigger.
H: It’s like a gateway drug to being more engaged.
J: Should there be action taken at a higher level? Yes. But at the same time, like you just do whatever you can… you recycle, you separate things, and you buy your keep cup. I think bolder steps need to be taken, but they are supposed to be taken by governments and companies.
H: Putting the burden on the average Joe is asking too much because of the things that you’re concerned with in your life. And to say, “oh, it’s your responsibility to improve the world” is a ridiculous thing to expect from a lot of people. It should be the people in power who are working to make that change.