Anyone who's familiar with The Whitlams' back catalogue knows that the scourge of the poker machine has long been a concern of Tim Freedman's. His 2000 hit 'Blow Up the Pokies' was a response to the gambling addiction of the band's original bassist, Andy Lewis.
Now, he's getting behind a new movement called Proudly Pokies Free, which aims to draw attention to — and reduce — the destructive impact of pokies in communities across Australia. The initiative has been instigated by sibling duo Anna and Tom Lawrence, whose late father, Neil Lawrence, created 2015 ABC doco Kaching! Pokie Nation.
Proudly Pokies Free will kick off on Sunday, October 23 with a launch party at the Oxford Art Factory. There'll be performances from Freedman himself, alongside Joyride, Wild Honey, Left. and Bad Deep DJs, as well as guest speakers.
"I'm proud to be involved with the Proudly Pokies Free movement to hopefully encourage a mindset that rewards and encourages venues that show imagination in programming and curating their activities," said Freedman. "It's time for the people of Sydney to push back against the pokies."