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Australia Day

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  307 ratings  ·  58 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
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Kindle Edition, 204 pages
Published April 15th 2019 by HarperCollins
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Average rating 4.18  · 
Rating details
 ·  307 ratings  ·  58 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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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
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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
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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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hayls
May 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Stan Grant really likes classical liberalism.
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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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 ...more
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
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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
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.
Theresa
Aug 07, 2019 rated it it was ok
There’s no denying that Stan Grant writes really well, and he engages with some really important and interesting thinkers as he does. But I just really can’t get behind his key argument (which he reiterates in every chapter). If I was grading this as a student work I would have to give it top marks but that doesn’t mean I liked it.
Simon Risson
May 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A deeply personal book that is both a joy and overwhelming to read. Full of personal and communal reflections that are confronting but so rich in hope and possibilities. Grateful for Stan Grant’s voice and perspective. I found it difficult to read simply because of my heritage and privilege, many things I did not, do not know. The difficulty, I hope, gives me a deeper understanding, a richer invitation to be attentive, listen deeper so that w might find a way forward together - recognising all ...more
Laura
Jul 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars.
Monika
Sep 01, 2019 marked it as not-interested  ·  review of another edition
Well that was unexpected. DNF @ page 52. Absolutely loved Talking to my Country. And most books about Aboriginal culture and history. This was too much like a university essay for my liking, could not get into it.
Wui Wang
Sep 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Blair
Jul 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An undeniably powerful book. This series of essays sees Grant pick at his personal identity as an Aboriginal Australian and investigate what it means to be Australian today. He draws widely on philosophy and literature with my only qualm being that he never goes into a lot of depth. It's mostly individual quotations that resonate with his experience. Nevertheless, the book comes across as raw and genuine: the thinking process of someone who is struggling to come to terms with his country and ...more
Di
Jun 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Stan Grant is a Wiradjuri and Kamilaroi man of Irish convict ancestry. His white grandmother was ostracized, living on the outskirts of a small town in country NSW with her Aboriginal husband and children. Stan’s father was an itinerant worker, moving in search of work. As a consequence Stan attended numerous schools and remarkably completed his primary and secondary education and went on to university where Professor Marcia Langton became his mentor. He became a journalist in 1987, working in ...more
Shannon
Aug 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Stan Grant says he prefers questions to answers, and I suggest you begin this book with that in mind. That’s not a negative though; there are no easy answers to the question (and the other questions this central question raises) of who we are. The closest you’ll get to an answer is that nations are stories, and that our story undoubtedly includes horrific, unresolved conflict, but that - like man - this conflict reveals the best and worst of us; murderous genocide and the construction of a story ...more
David Mcnair
Jan 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I have just finished reading “Australia Day” by Stan Grant. This is a really important book for all Australian’s to read and to all who are fortunate enough to call Australia their home.

This book reminds me of another book I read a number of years ago “This Whispering In Our Hearts” by Henry Reynolds. Equally an important book where I first learnt about the silent history of Indigenous Australia since British settlement.

“Australia Day” reminds us that we are all connected in some way to each
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Lani
Jul 15, 2019 added it
Listened to the Audiobook, which was ready by the author.

For anyone that wants to know more about Australia's history I highly recommend this book.

As an American who is making Australia my new home I was very intrigued by this book. I feel like Mr. Grant did a great job showcasing the ups and downs of this country and comparing events to similar ones across the world. I feel a little bit more informed about how the original inhabitants of this country were, and still are treated.

But I do
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Andrew
Jul 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
We consider ourselves a young country, yet we count as citizens people older than any other? We consider ourselves progressive, yet our history suggests we are inherently racist. We are political, yet our political institutions don’t recognise our traditional owners. We take freedom for granted, yet, do we all consider ourselves free? Who are we and how do we define being Australian?

Contradictions define Australia. Racism plagues our history, yet our success suggests a modern successful, caring
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Rachael (shereadsshenoms)
As we approach January 26, Australia looks inward to who we are as a nation. It's impossible to like everything we see.

After being totally struck by Stan Grant's Talking To My Country, I found Australia Day an expansion on questions Grant unearthed in his former work. Grant's questions around identity politics, around protest, around changing the date, around history, are all complex. Grant is philosophical, intelligent and this collection of works draws on pieces such as his Australian Dream
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Cel Jel
Jul 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A book written in a manner to allow thought, and not reaction. To allow you to disagree thoughtfully, but not to react angrily.
How do we as a nation move to a place where all feel a welcomed part of the nation? How do we deal with the differences of views among first nations people and among the newer migrants to the land - those who came due to the claiming of the land by a colonial power, and the method of the claiming of the land.
Stan has shown that he has thought and read carefully and has
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Marlz Henry
Jan 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
During this Australia Day weekend, I planned to read this book. 'Australia Day' was a confronting read. The sadness and pain I felt while reading this cannot ever compare to the dispossession, prejudice, racism, inequality and loss that Aboriginal people experience. I have always questioned how I can connect to a country that has disconnected the culture of those who have lived here thousands of years before. Stan wrote that "we are all of us a part of each other". And he also wrote that "we are ...more
Shoi
Dec 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, wishlist
incredible and thought-provoking work; there are so many passages i have tabbed and i need to get myself a copy so i can go crazy with highlighting! a variety of important questions are asked and explored in a very nuanced way, but ultimately no answers are handed to the reader. i think it's an essential step in the process of consideration all australians must take, about what our nation is and how it will progress. i'm really eager to now read the rest of stan grant's work.

strongly, STRONGLY
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Suresh
Nov 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Powerful, poetic, a reflective exercise by Stan over many years on how best to manage the trauma of colonisation, this book encouraged me to question my beliefs, and the identity I put into personal identifiers. I learnt that we (those living in this great red/brown land) all carry a part of Australia inside of us, and holding onto our ideals is perhaps not as important as finding a healthy way forward for all of us and hoping for peace and happiness inside us too. This book also gave me greater ...more
Renee
Aug 18, 2019 rated it liked it
I actually only made it through chapter 7 on this one. While I loved Talking to My Country, this was arduous for me. I felt like I was reading a university essay that didn’t have a strong thesis. It is well researched and an interesting topic, but he does more referencing of philosophers and historians and literature and other politic theorists than speaking his mind. The only thesis I could establish is basically “Its complicated”. Maybe it gets better as it continues but my attention was ...more
MonsRuiz
May 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I am ashamed to say this, I never had considered myself ignorant until now.

I am glad that I have listened/read this book. It has encouraged me to read more into our true history.

Stan Grant has made me question everything about Australia and for that I am grateful.

Stan outlined past actions of our Government, that until now I lacked understanding.

While I appreciate that this may not be a book for everyone, the fact I have walked away from this with so many questions and thoughts is amazing.

I have
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