Stan Grant’s speech: Raw, powerful, you must watch today

Stan Grant, a widely recognised and celebrated indigenous journalist made a speech yesterday that is curling toes, making people stop,

Stan Grant, a widely recognised and celebrated indigenous journalist made a speech yesterday that is curling toes, making people stop, and quite frankly has to be watched today.  It’s heated, passionate and summarises many of the mistakes that have been made in indigenous Australia over centuries.  He’s calling our country to understand and to realise the battle the generations of the indigenous here have had to fight.

He says the Australian Dream is rooted in racism.  And he says he has succeeded in spite of the Australian Dream.  He say “we’re better than this” and he urges our country to be the extraordinary country we could be.

Last year, when Adam Goodes was booed on the football field Stan Grant wrote a controversial column for The Guardian that opened up with honesty how he felt about how Goodes was cut down.

“…this is how Australia makes us feel. Estranged in the land of our ancestors, marooned by the tides of history on the fringes of one of the richest and demonstrably most peaceful, secure and cohesive nations on earth.”

“To Adam’s ears, the ears of so many Indigenous people, these boos are a howl of humiliation. A howl that echoes across two centuries of invasion, dispossession and suffering. Others can parse their words and look for other explanations, but we see race and only race. How can we see anything else when race is what we have clung to even as it has been used as a reason to reject us,” his article wrote.  And it received 102,000 shares, so it is not without rapturous impact.

But his speech, which is not long, just 8 short minutes, is confronting in the lead up to Australia Day.  As over 60s you might even remember more of the terrible circumstances he reflects on.

IQ2 Racism Debate: Stan GrantDon’t have time to watch the whole IQ2 Racism Debate posted earlier today? Take just eight minutes out of your day to hear Stan Grant’s incredible speech – widely acknowledged to be one of the most powerful ever heard at IQ2.

Posted by The Ethics Centre on Wednesday, January 20, 2016

He was speaking at The Ethics Centre IQ2 debate, a much larger event.


He finishes with “Australians – Let us ALL rejoice”.  Do you think we can be the country Stan Grant wants us to be?

Give this speech a share if you think it is worth talking about!




  1. Sorry I get offended with any Aboriginal saying we are racist and it is all about race, they are oppressed by white Australians and everything is all our fault… are only oppressed because you allow yourselves to be….how come every year close to Australia Day these sorts of things get bought up…it is about race because Aboriginals make it that way….what happened 100’s of years ago has nothing to do with today’s Aboriginals….they are in politics, they are in media, TV, moves, sports and a lot have made names for themselves so why are we talking about it again….over the years governments have bent over backwards for them, given them land rights, recognition, money, homes, benefits, the Government said sorry, so why are they bringing it up again….at every sporting venue they have their thing about welcoming to country, so they are being recognised and supported so why is this coming up again????? Australia Day is a celebration of Australia and it’s heritage and cultures it is for every Australian……

    • then why is the jail population 25% aboriginal, and don’t say it’s because they have more criminals, go out to one of these communities and see for yourself, you are living by wishful thinking.

    • I am not thank you, you are in titled to your opinion and I am in titled to mine, most of them no matter what they are given do not try to live any different, it is not white Australians fault that they end up in jail, it is theirs for not trying to improve themselves, nobody twists their arms to commit crime any more than the 75% of white and immigrants that are in prison.

    • I have never heard anything more outrageous and stooooopid in all my life – and to think I heard it on this site is gobsmackingly shocking!!! I am referring to ‘You are only oppressed because you allow yourselves to be’. GET A GRIP and for God’s sake get educated before posting such bloody tripe. Judith Forbes you know sfa! Please oh please READ and then read some more. It happens every Australia day because the whites INVADED THEIR country and sent word back to England it was Terra Nullius = meaning NOBODY was inhabiting Australia. So they set up the penal Colony here in OZ. Did you even listen to Stan Grant – I bet not! So listen and then that is only a tiny start for you. We celebrate our Australia Day but for the Aborigines it is a day of SORROW.

    • Oh for gods sake all countries have been invaded at one time or another through history, some more than once, the UK for example. The Romans even rounded up blonde haired blue eyed kids and shipped them off to Rome as slaves then oppressed the rest of the inhabitants. Before you jump on me I have visited aboriginal communities and seen the amenities and schools, all they have to do is use them.

    • Merran Heather Brown You’re part of the problem. What we need is more Aboriginals who want to be part of the solution. The blame culture is tired and no longer supported.

    • It was not their country, they were nomads, they came from the island. They did nothing with this country, they roamed it and killed the wild animals, they ate the bush food. A day of sorrow oh my goodness. We are in titled to Australia Day.

      • Lynne Highfield  

        Judith Forbes, your ignorance on this subject is emphasized by your constant use of your words “in titled”. Please research this topic more thoroughly and you will, no doubt, benefit from a deeper knowledge of the problems besetting aborigines and also learn what the word “entitled” means.

    • Some years ago I worked with an aboriginal women who’s life had been hell because of the treatment she received growing up, She & her brothers & sisters had been taken away from their parents, split up & put into white homes where she became nothing but a babysitter & house keeper, she never found her parents or brothers & sisters before they died, giving them all the money or homes or anything else will never make up for this treatment or heal the emotional damage it did to a generation that was not all that long ago, it sickens me this just get over it attitude that so many Australians have, the way aboriginal people have been treated in the past ( & not that long ago) & still are today by many people isn’t that easy to forget & will take a lot longer that one generation to recover from.

    • Judith Forbes you are entitled to your opinion,but could someone like you who is so ignorant of the true history of this country take 8.5 Minutes to actively listen to what Stan Grant spoke about.I personally have worked extremely hard all my life but for 20+ years of my life I was not even counted I was part of the flora and fauna act and my Grandmother who suffered such racial taunts all her life is more a lady than you will ever be.Racism in Australia is alive and well thanks to people like you,END of Rant

    • No I will not and do not call me names I am not a racist thank you just because you do not like what I say I am a racist and I am not look up the meaning of the word. I am not ignorant I just have a different view to you.

    • How anyone in this day and age can be so blind to our history beats me. Some people are so ignorant and racist, they see only what they want to see…some even changing the definition of a word to suit their own arrogance..

    • The Aborigine culture has been decimated and WE WHITES need to take responsibility. I do NOT have the answer. It is truly a complex issue. Does any person at least feel a chink of shame?? Take the helicopter view and see what has happened. Stan Grant says it so well – you should hang your heads in shame. Call Stan and have a chat with him – he is articulate and passionate about the issues. He is RIGHT.

    • I can only imagine what it must be like to be invaded by people capable of killing us easily if we didn’t comply. People who told us we MUST live their way because it’s better. We made an entire race of people try to adapt to something entirely alien to them, they are trying to live in two cultures. We gave them alcohol, venereal diseases, general diseases, drugs, we stole their children, no wonder it’s a day of sorrow for them. Just my opinion.

    • No offence but a lot of White Australians had lives just like that Lyn Lyn Bradford are they every Australia Day time carrying on about it….no they live their lives.

    • I do not have to be black to know things I have know plenty of Aboriginals and have lived around them too.

    • Lyn. Yes – it goes on generation after generation. Very sad. One can say survival of the fittest – but we are all connected and really need to assist those who seem hopeless and helpless. Their culture has gone and that is such a darn shame. We could learn a lot from them. An elder of the Tribes of Far North QLD was given an honorary PhD for his contribution to THE WHITES – for his information on land management and fire control. He was a lovely old gracious man. Such a pity and such shame.

    • Lorraine – there are PLENTY of Aborigines that can tell stories so that you can get an understanding of how they have been impacted by white settlement. But Stan Grant has it down in an eloquent and educated manner. Just believe him. He is right.

    • Gail Riley  

      Peter Hayward Only those that want to improve their futures can be helped and there appears to be many opportunities offered them. It’s up to them to step up.

    • Judith Forbes You ( and you aren’t on your own here ) are not listening, nor are you seeing except with ears and eyes which are prejudiced and that IS racist. I don’t know how we can overcome this, but I do know we have to try otherwise our beautiful country will go the same way as so many others and that would be reprehensible! It’s not just the indigenous people who are treated like this, but many others too, and we need to find a way forward to living in harmony with each other.

  2. The first rule of every human should be, “don’t be an Arsehole, how long will it take us to learn.and by the way if you follow the first rule you don’t need any others.

  3. When are they going to talk about it. We Australians are racist. I get so ashamed of the things people say and do. The aboriginal people weren’t allowed to vote until the sixties. They weren’t recognised as being part of Australia. That’s not long ago. I don’t how anyone can listen to that speech and not feel sorry.

    • I can as I have done nothing bad to anyone….women took many centuries to get the vote too are we carrying on about it no, Negros were segregated in US until the 60’s too it happened and it is now time to move on everybody, it is history that we hope is never repeated.

    • After reading a lot of Australian history I really feel that what happened in the 1800s was extremely regrettable. The fact that most of the information regarding ‘dispersals is not in our history books makes our understanding of the plight of the original owners of this land sadly missing. The English ( yes I am one!) were at the time the most acquisitive people taking over many countries and calling it ‘The Empire’ just for the glorification of England and its Royality also to fill the coffers of the banks.

    • We, at this stage of our history have nothing to appolagise for. As for the new immigrants that come here for a better life learn to fit in or frack off back to the shit holes you came from, dont try to turn this into your next shit hole!

    • Judith Forbes did you even listen to that speech? Perhaps it’s a case of casting your pearls before the swine.

    • Are you a sociopath Judith Forbes. Because if you are that would explain your lack of empathy. So by your logic because you didn’t gas Jews at Auchwitz, you shouldn’t feel sorry for them!

    • for what it is worth I blocked Judith Forbes some time ago, her racist comments and her constant trolling made me feel ill, I don’t need to read that

    • Oh and they never put us down. It is history Aboriginals are treated better now than they were back then or even decades ago come on please.

    • We are in the here & now history is history we cannot deny what happened but surely it is time to move on learn from history and move on to the next stage. Raking up all this STUFF! Is not going to improve what happens in the future! It is Also not appropriate for people today to apologise for things that happened all those years ago we were not there we did not do those deeds we were not even born so why apologise for things we did not do a futile exercise to me. So get real people move on from now!

    • No you idiot I am not, what has empathy got to do with anything????i said nothing about the Jews in any way shape or form so don’t say I did… I did not listen to it and I don’t intend to it is the same stuff as always, blame everybody else for your life, I had nothing to do with anything and I am being crucified for my opinions get over it.

    • Libbi Elliot But you’re not interested to hear what I have to say. I see no “come back” from you on the lengthy post I put in regarding living beside a house of urban aborigines.And don;’t tell me to move. Nobody would buy a cream house with claret vomit on it from the neighbours spewing over their railings. One look at the yard – and you’d know not to live near there.

    • Judith Forbes If you listen to it you will see that Stan is talking about his own family. A lot of what is being written here is not particularly relevant to what he said. I’ve heard him before. He’s said it before. It’s just that he had a wider audience.

  4. Such a moving speech, every Australia should listen to it, but then again so many will deny the truth sadly.

    • once again the racists rear their ugly heads, it is sad for this country..well said Lyn

  5. My definition of racism is where a race of people have neither opportunities nor support to improve their lives/education. That is not the truth in this country, it is up to every individual to strive, not up to others to carry them.

    • Linda, I wonder whether you have spent time in a remote community. Whether you have seen their deprivation and level of poverty; where their educational opportunities are limited because curriculum is not contextualised to their cultural needs and their health and well-being are compromised because their access to medical care is limited to a bi-monthly visit by the circuit doctor. Where a child can die from an infection to a simple cut; where, in a medical emergency, initial treatment is provided by the teacher and the store keeper taking instructions from RFDS personnel over the radio. When you have seen some of this, first hand, perhaps then, you will be in a position to judge.

    • After living in Darwin I saw for myself how Some People treated Aboriginals they have been exploited for greed in many cases ,and how would anybody feel at having their child torn away from them knowing that they probably would never see again, it breaks my heart, so what it must have done to those Families is beyond believe, Sorry will never be enough

    • Penny Bingham whilst I agree with what you say,it dosnt give any answers or solutions. Just where does the money come from to supply these remote communities with ,lets say< a Doctor, running water, or all the other day to day things that you and I take for granted. For goodness sake the Govt is cutting back on health care and prescriptions etc . Please, this is not a perfect world and yes "white" Australia may once have done the wrong thing but it wasnt me, or my children(who by the way are of Aboriginal blood) Just look at the viral video of the young boy from last week, look at his and his mothers lack of respect, that will tell you why the prison population is so unbalanced. And that video was from a suburb of Sydney where all the ameneties are more than available, the woman in Govt housing on benefits.

    • I was in Alice Springs once and visiting the casino. Not being gamblers we were just there for a meal and a curious look around. We happened to be watching a roulette table when this Aborigine man lost $200 in about 5 minutes. Education is what is needed.

    • Penny Bingham that’s terrible, why are they living in remote communities like that. Something needs to be done obviously. I think Linda was talking about what we all see here (not in remote areas) where aboriginals do get more than equal opportunities maybe support needs to be directed to the right place.

    • Penny Bingham I will be sure to to pass your views onto my husband’s friend, my son-in-law and his mother (who I class as my friend). Yes, all aboriginal descent.

    • Elda Mulrine Quinton on that one time you were in Alice Springs and were curiously looking around in the casino..even tho you are not a gambler (LOL) did you happen to notice how much the whites lost?

    • Penny Bingham Yes Penny, I lived in FNQ for almost 30yrs and I’d like to say that Indigenous Australians are given every opportunity, even more so than the rest of us,the majority choose not to make the effort. I paid for my children’s education, they don’t. I bought uniforms they don’t. I bought my kids bikes so that they could ride to school, they don’t. I paid for every extra curricular activity that I could afford, they don’t have to. To top it all off, they are given extra money just to encourage them to even send their kids to school. This is where our entrenched attitudes to Aboriginal peoples attitudes starts, when our kids see all the opportunities that is given to these people, while their own parents struggle to survive.

    • Susanne. Define ‘our’. It is white man’s collective responsibility. We decimated their way of life. The modern efforts have not worked to put it right the elders want more say on what and how to put it right. It is a huge blight on our collective white shoulders. Do not take it personally. But there still needs to be something done. It is very sad.

    • But not so to past generations of aboriginal people, good on him for using his voice to stand up for what is right.

    • Garry Wyeth…..your comment rings of superiority. Stan has worked hard to get where he is today. He is an inspiration to his people and all you can say is “this country has been good for Stan” this country has been good for most of us..unless of course you happen to be an outcast in your own country…comprehend?

    • Judy Graves you missed the point, it’s been good to him meaning others can achieve also if they want to so get off your high horse

    • Garry Wyeth You mean like those who worked before you who were never paid or the ones who were paid with alcohol and opium???

    • Garry Wyeth, I can’t speak for others out of respect for Tribal law! My Tribal Ground is Kukulangi and I don’t interfere there neither as I live in Brissie, what I would like is for people to acknowledge us and not make sweeping statements and on how to fix things of which they have no knowledge! One shoe size does not fit all! Consultation with the elders and a listening ear would be very helpful for starters! ☺

    • There’s a long way to go, Governments only window dress, there are currently other minorities of interest, so unfortunately your struggle continues.

  6. A great speech but how many will truly listen and how many who can really make a difference will really try?

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