320: Stan Grant (Australia Day 2020)

Stan Grant is an Australian television news and political journalist. He is currently the ABC's indigenous and international affairs analyst, and professor of global affairs at Griffith University in Queensland, Australia.

He’s written a number of books, two which absolutely stand out are Talking to My Country, and his latest book Australia Day.

You see Stan is an Aboriginal First Nation Australian man.

His father was an elder of the Wiradjuri people - a country that stretches across central NSW - from Wagga Wagga and Leeton to West Wyalong, Parkes, Dubbo, Forbes, Cootamundra, Cowra and Young among other places.

Stan has spent much of his career abroad - covering conflict, has witnessed the unimaginable horrors of war, and has lived for years in countries far from his own.

These days, Stan is back.

And he’s written a book called Australia Day.

A book about not just about a difficult day in our community - the 26th of January, the day we as a nation celebrate Arthur Phillip planting a flag and declaring this country for England - for some it’s the day that Australia as we know it began. For others it’s the day that Australia as they knew it ended.

It’s a complex thing to talk about.

There’s a lot of emotion around what it is to be Australian, and the role of the legacy of colonialism on us all, Indigenous or otherwise - and where we go from here.

It’s a hot-button topic.

One that deserves a long conversation and a deep exploration.

While you listen to this, try to consider what things would be like if it were you and your family affected by this situation.

Try to see what it might be like or have been like for people in this country when the Europeans came.

Do I have the answers? Absolutely not.

But I know it starts with listening, seeing and empathy.

I like to try and have an idea about what might make today better than yesterday.

Here’s one…

I mean we could simply declare Australia a republic, recognise Aboriginal Australians in the founding constitution of that republic and instead of January 26 we could pick a date in summer and call it “Independence Day!” But that’s just me.

So let’s go.

Come to my house and enjoy a cuppa and a conversation with a man that speaks as if he’s free styling poetry, Stan Grant.

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