AUSTRALIA DAY - STAN GRANT
Title: Australia Day
Author: Stan Grant
Published: April 2019
Genres: Non Fiction, Australian History
As uncomfortable as it is, we need to reckon with our history. On January 26, no Australian can really look away.'
Since publishing his critically acclaimed, Walkley Award-winning, bestselling memoir Talking to My Country in early 2016, Stan Grant has been crossing the country, talking to huge crowds everywhere about how racism is at the heart of our history and the Australian dream. But Stan knows this is not where the story ends.
In this book, Australia Day, his long-awaited follow up to Talking to My Country, Stan talks about our country, about who we are as a nation, about the indigenous struggle for belonging and identity in Australia, and what it means to be Australian. A sad, wise, beautiful, reflective and troubled book, Australia Day asks the questions that have to be asked, that no else seems to be asking. Who are we? What is our country? How do we move forward from here?
To my non-indigenous friends,
I don’t just encourage you to read this book, but I urge you to. Picture me on my hands and knees begging you to seek out this book in whatever form you can access. Find a quiet place, turn that first page or put in your headphones, take a deep breath, exhale your pride, and just listen. This is the least of what we owe. So many moments in this book are confronting, describing acts of racism that are so horrifically beyond understanding. And with this, a sense of shame. It is important that I, a white Australian, do not speak to the topics covered. It is not my place, nor do I want to take up any space that should instead be filled by the voice of a First Nations person. Though the mere consumption of this book will not remedy or heal the damage that has been and continues to be done, to learn is to recognise the need for change and understanding where to start.
I had a job interview once, and I was asked “have you had much to do with the Indigenous community?”. I was 22, and had not. My reception to this book would have been different back then, and that is nothing but a reflection of my privilege. Whilst my professional and life experiences saw me working in those communities not long after, I too still feel that there are endless questions, and so much to learn. However that should not be a deterrent, but instead a motivator. The eloquence, candidness and brilliance of Stan Grant as both a storyteller and an educator is unparalleled. He won’t give you non-existent easy answers. He is not accusatory, but understanding. This novel will make you uncomfortable, but so it should. Along with that, it will shape you, teach you and drive you to educate yourself further. There are pages missing from our history books, and our First Nations people have the words to change our nation, but first we need to return that narrative we took, and listen.
OUR FAVOURITE QUOTE
“To be indigenous, must I reject Australia? To be Australian, must I ignore history?"
Racism, colonialism, traumatic events, mention of Holocaust, stolen generation and deceased persons.
Indigenous Incarceration Rates
Australian Law Reform Commission - Disproportionate incarceration rate
Creative Spirits - Aboriginal Prison Rates
Australian Bureau of Statistics - Corrective Services, Australia
The Stolen Generation
Australians Together - The Stolen Generations
Healing Foundation - Stolen Generations Resource Kit for Teachers and Students
Videos, Interviews & Articles
ABC Radio National - Stan Grant On The Battle For Australia Day
The Ethics Center (IQ2 speech) - Stan Grant: Racism and The Australian Dream
'The Australian' Article (written by Stan Grant) - 'The difference a day makes. Those who want to change the date of Australia Day — or abolish it altogether — are missing the point.'