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Australia Day

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  917 ratings  ·  137 reviews
'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 Austra
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Kindle Edition, 204 pages
Published April 15th 2019 by HarperCollins
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Average rating 4.18  · 
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 ·  917 ratings  ·  137 reviews


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April (Aprilius Maximus)
“I am a pinwheel of colours spinning into one, a kaleidoscope of history that came to rest on the shores of Botany Bay.”

Stan Grant has done it again. I listened to this on audio and constantly wished I had the physical copy so I could highlight the crap out of it. If you're Australian, his books are essential reading. If you're not Australian, you should read them anyway. Educate yourself, and let's make this country (and this world) a better place. <3

PS. Happy NAIDOC Week 🖤❤️💛
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Jonathan O'Neill
Sep 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Stan Grant’s ‘Australia Day’ is a flawlessly communicated reflection on history, identity and belonging both on a personal and a national level. The writing is extremely compelling. To read this book is to feel the crush of two opposing forces within Grant’s heart and mind. “Black and White… The conquered and the conqueror… The ship and the shore.”
The tone of the book feels the push and pull of these forces, ranging from seething anger to unflinching optimism and everything in-between. Ultimate
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sarah
Feb 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
“Storytellers work with and against history. In history we find difference and conflict, yet the storyteller must find us in each other.”

Australia Day is one of the best non-fiction books I have ever read. Ever. If you are Australian, this should be required reading. Even if you are not, I would highly highly recommend it.

If you are unaware, Australia Day is currently the 26th of January. While it is meant to be a day of national pride and togetherness- the date has caused a deep rift between
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Judy
Possibly one of the most uncomfortable books I have read in a long time. Uncomfortable because this is full of questions for you. Full of subjects that will make you look deep into your formed ideals or preconceived ideas. It makes you question nearly everything.

And we all need to question everything we think we know about Australia. It is about making us look very carefully at our own ethics and values and then transfer those into examining our country.

Like all Stan Grant books this is amazin
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Grace
May 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review is mainly quotations that really struck me. It's not as eloquent as my review of Talking To My Country, and I apologise, but I'd rather the quotations do the talking...

200 years is a tiny fraction compared to 65,000 years and we can't expect healing to be that quick, but we can work towards it.
-We are a people - black and white; two centuries together on a harsh isolated continent has changed us.
I've always found that Australia's history is like a festering wound growing gangrenous
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Jaclyn (sixminutesforme)
May 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: auslit
This is such a thought provoking book, and really is a dialogue on whether Australia is asking the right questions in the “change the date” debate. For those outside Australia, “Australia Day” marks the beginning of colonialism in Australia, and for obvious reasons is quite a problematic date, so there is a strong movement to change the date from the current one of 26 January.

Rather than asking whether the date should be changed, Grant invites readers to consider whether the more pertinent quest
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M - The long hot spell
Three and a half stars, rounded up.

There is a lot to process in this book by journo, Stan Grant. First up I have to say - it’s a collection of essays, and the “book” suffers somewhat under that fact.

Despite that I managed to take down a load of notes from it. Things I want to remember, question, think about. 👍🏻

Also: I thought the book was actually about Australia Day. Oops 😆 It’s about much more than that - Grant’s family history, thoughts, views, conflicts (and he’s is quite conflicted- unders
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K.
Trigger warnings: racism, colonialism, Stolen Generations, mentions of Holocaust.

I've been excited about reading this for a good long while now because I absolutely ADORED Talking to My Country. I didn't enjoy this one quite as much, but it was still a fantastic read. Stan Grant is a wonderful writer and there were multiple sentences and paragraphs that I read multiple times because they were so beautifully crafted.

I've seen other reviews complaining that this is repetitive, and while there are
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Yang Ch'ng
Once again, Stan Grant comes up with another beautifully written and innately meditative reflection of the Australian existence. A deeply personal quest to resolve the internal conflict of his identity, Grant's critical questioning of his beliefs stemming from an understanding of family, politics and history will resonate with those whose identities have thrived and suffered, both by the hands of one same establishment. ...more
Stephanie
Nov 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Stan Grant’s Australia Day is food for thought; what I feel in my heart, is so eloquently expressed. A must read.
Kali Napier
Aug 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
This would make an excellent text for students of rhetoric. Grant dissects and argues the various positions for and against Australia Day, across Black and white, through techniques of logos, pathos, and ethos. Drawing on philosophers and orators, he presents himself as a bit of both, truly a Doctor of Letters, in this eloquent examination of his own identity -- and all of our identity as 'Australian'. Listening Grant read his work via audio book brought a vitality to the speeches that he has gi ...more
Ellen
Jul 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: setting, character
This was amazing to listen to it. I listened to it on buses in Gadigal country, and while driving in Kamilaroi country. I am trying to resist simply saying - go and listen to it, but this is what you should do. There is much power in the restraint which Stan Grant uses in his reading of this book, making each terrible event stark. This is a book which has a lot of tension between hope and despair, it also points to much other reading to explore, providing a thoughtful and nuanced view of history ...more
Chessa
Dec 02, 2019 rated it liked it
As an American living in Australia, I found the content of this book pretty interesting. I had a really hard time with Grant's writing style. I found it difficult to get into and get through as he is very repetitive in his narration. I found his use of punctuation to be overdone and distracting. In the beginning of the book there were a lot of references to names and events that weren't explained - I assume these things are common knowledge if you grew up in Australia - but I found myself wishin ...more
Katie
Apr 19, 2020 rated it liked it
I listened to this on audiobook and I'm glad I did: Stan Grant is a remarkably gifted orator and talented writer which makes for beautiful listening. In terms of his arguments, it was incredibly varied. Some of the chapters seemed very passive and conservative, with Grant speaking out against protests, for liberalism, and in praise of forgetting, which I struggled to marry with his heartbreaking accounts of struggle and large-scale discrimination since white colonisation. Grant wrote that while ...more
hayls &#x1f434;
May 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Stan Grant really likes classical liberalism.
Merb
Essential reading for Australian's I say. Or just anyone.
I don't want to say much as I am a white Australian who wants to amplify Indigenous voices, rather than insert my own. But I will suggest this, because it was heartfelt and honest, hitting the topic with a sense of hope despite the pain, but still being realistic about the struggles that come with being an Indigenous Australian in this modernised liberal society. It focuses it's discussion point on what Australia Day really means and if t
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Anna Baillie-Karas
Feb 14, 2021 rated it really liked it
A thoughtful book about the issues Australia faces with its identity. Grant talks sensibly - but not without (justified) anguish at times - about the need to include Aboriginal stories in Australia’s history (most pointedly on Australia Day). His approach is inclusive, to enrich our country, rather than ‘one or the other’ reflecting his own combined identity. A great mix of big issues, intelligently handled, philosophy and personal story.
Ely
Jan 28, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are a lot of different topics covered in these essays and at times, that made this a little overwhelming to read. There were a few times when I got a little lost as many of the essays cover so many different topics just within themselves, but overall, this is very thought-provoking and Stan Grant is a wonderful writer.
Eloise Rogers
May 04, 2020 rated it liked it
It was interesting, I felt like I was educated on a new perspective, however, it felt really repetitive, that’s why I took me a while to get through. Stan Grant is a talented writer though!
Millie May
Jul 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-reads
There is something so beautiful and moving about Stan Grant’s work. It teaches you so much that you don’t know and really exposed me to things that have never crossed my mind about my own identity. Highly recommend for EVERYONE
Tim
Apr 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Stan Grant's 'Australia Day' is superb. Grant carefully wrestles with what it means for him to be an Indigenous (Wiradjuri) man in the current age. Grant avoids easy answers. His arguments are thoughtful and nuanced and speak to the heart of what it means for each of us, Indigenous or not, to be Australian.
At almost every page, there was something I felt was worth sharing; not always because I agreed, but because he beautifully describes the delicate synthesis of our Australian culture. However,
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Megan
I'm really conflicted about this one. Maybe three and a half stars for the good bits.

Stan Grant's speeches on indigenous issues are FIVE STAR. His commentary in the media is always eloquent and piercing, in a good way. So, I was excited to read this book. I really wanted to hear more and especially his views on Australia Day, a treaty, the constitution and other issues that have divided commentary in this country.

Stan has both Irish convict settler heritage and Aboriginal heritage. He is brillia
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Vuma Lillian (the diaspora reader)
Review at @the_diaspora_reader

I’m so glad to say I have finally finished “Australia Day”. This has been sitting on my shelf for a year since it first published last year 💫. Separated into 5 parts, it discusses the debate around changing Australia’s national day of celebration from January 26 (the day Cpt. Cook declared this land Terra Nullius), to a day that doesn’t symbolise such a moment. That’s just the tip of the ice berg. He unpacks race relations in general, Australia today and historicall
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Nigel Fortescue
Sep 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
I have been devouring Stan Grant’s books in the last three months, prompted by his thinking on identity.

Our world is in love with identity. Having a sharp definition of who you are is said to provide you with a greater understanding of and comfort with yourself and a place to stand in the world. Sexual preference, gender selection, family position, occupation, racial history and a myriad of other factors can all be used to define your identity. Of course, you only need to look at your fingerprin
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Clare Hambly
Jan 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A beautifully written book which reckons with our indigenous and colonial histories and tries to pave a path forward for a united Australia. Whilst I was expecting to come away from the book having solidified my ideas surrounding the 26th of January, Grant instead suggests that we are not asking the right questions in the debate surrounding our National Day. I came away feeling that the change the date movement, whilst well-meaning, fails to delve into the deeper seated issues that are dividing ...more
Sarah (dvrk_academic)
This was the book I was hoping to love the most this month and it truly is an exquisite book that I had to put down several times just to be able to question myself and reflect on what Stan Grant was writing. This book speaks about accepting one’s own Indigenous culture (for Native Peoples), how they fit into a country that is yet to acknowledge that this country is actually their’s and how can others living in this country be allies. This book and Grant’s collection of thoughts is centred aroun ...more
Alycia K
Feb 03, 2021 rated it liked it
This was a really strange read for me. It’s not a perspective that I’ve explored before, nor one I have ever considered legitimate. That the colonisation of Australia, whilst terrible, was ‘not so bad,’ because it brought us the enlightenment. It’s not a perspective I agree with, and I believe it to be relatively harmful and reinforces Australia’s general white, colonialist outlook.

I struggled getting through this because the author was struggling with his identify. The attempt of rationalisati
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Skadi
Jul 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Another deeply personal, succinct and eloquent book from Stan Grant. How could it not be personal? The only thing I think this book is missing, is the identification of neo-liberalism, it's part in maintaining the status quo of inequality and racism. Other than this, Stan delivers a work that is a culmination of his life, travels, reading. He looks at Australia from within and without and makes us question the concept of race with the simple fact of his ancestry. Stan acknowledges the diversity ...more
Irene
Mar 29, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2021
I didn't know very much about Stan Grant before picking this up, but once I'd closed the book, I wanted to learn more. Stan Grant definitely has a compelling way of writing, and while this collection of essays definitely reads as a collection of essays, it didn't come across as dry or boring. At times I did feel it was in danger of veering into that territory, especially when it came to the almost constant references to the thoughts of academics past and present, but Grant managed to toe the lin ...more
Melissa Riley
Jun 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: on-audio
This has some really good commentary on what it means to be Australian, and an indigenous Australian. I think I would have taken more away if I read it physically rather than listened to the audiobook, I didn't have enough time to absorb the information. It definitely made me want to read Grant's other book, Talking to my Country. ...more
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Why not focus on some serious family drama? Not yours, of course, but a fictional family whose story you can follow through the generations of...
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“Storytellers work with and against history. In history we find difference and conflict, yet the storyteller must find us in each other.” 0 likes
“As a nation we must ask hard questions of ourselves and there is something that gnaws at me. Yes, it is important to remember, but do we also have to let go? Is forgetting the price we must pay for peace?” 0 likes
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