Stan Grant and Racism

As we approach National Reconciliation Week, we urge Australians to engage in the national debate on these matters in an informed and respectful manner.

On behalf of Reconciliation Australia, I wish to express my support for Stan Grant in the face of the racist attacks he has been subjected to. 

He is a man of high ethical standards who has worked extremely hard to get to the prominent position he currently holds in Australian journalism.  

Stan Grant is also a Wiradjuri man and because of this he has faced racism and abuse for much of his career. 

Stan shares this experience with other First Nations people in Australia.  

According to the 2022 Australian Reconciliation Barometer survey, 60% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people surveyed reported an experience of at least one form of racial prejudice in the past 6 months, an increase of 8% since 2020, and 17% since 2018.  

The E-Safety Commissioner, Julie Inman Grant says there has been a more than 10 per cent increase in complaints about online racial abuse since debate around the Voice took off.  

These incidents, and the recent racist abuse of numerous First Nations sporting stars, demonstrated once again that Australia still has a long way to go towards building a reconciled and just society. 

Despite this, at Reconciliation Australia we retain our hope and optimism in the good hearts of most Australians. 

We note the strong public demonstrations of support for Stan by his co-workers at the ABC. We note the rejection of racism by most Australians, and we note the growing support for a treaty process, and the true telling of Australia’s history. 

Even while Stan Grant is being savaged online for speaking truthfully about the experiences of colonialism during the recent coronation, 84% of Australians believe it is important to know about the histories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia.  

As we approach National Reconciliation Week, we urge Australians to engage in the national debate on these matters in an informed and respectful manner. 

We urge all Australians to reject racism, to call it out when observed and to support those who are subject to it. 

Reconciliation depends on it. 

Statement from Reconciliation Australia Chief Executive Karen Mundine

Paul House with gum leaves and smoke
Paul Girrawah House

Paul Girrawah House has multiple First Nation ancestries from the South-East Canberra region, including the Ngambri-Ngurmal (Walgalu), Pajong (Gundungurra), Wallabollooa (Ngunnawal) and Erambie/Brungle (Wiradyuri) family groups.

Paul acknowledges his diverse First Nation history, he particularly identifies as a descendant of Onyong aka Jindoomang from Weereewaa (Lake George) and Henry ‘Black Harry’ Williams from Namadgi who were both multilingual, essentially Walgalu-Ngunnawal-Wiradjuri speaking warriors and Ngunnawal–Wallaballooa man William Lane aka ‘Billy the Bull’ - Murrjinille.

Paul was born at the old Canberra hospital in the centre of his ancestral country and strongly acknowledges his First Nation matriarch ancestors, in particular his mother Dr Aunty Matilda House-Williams and grandmother, Ms Pearl Simpson-Wedge.

Paul completed a Bachelor of Community Management from Macquarie University, and Graduate Certificate in Wiradjuri Language, Culture and Heritage and Management from CSU.

Paul provided the Welcome to Country for the 47th Opening of Federal Parliament in 2022. Paul is Board Director, Ngambri Local Aboriginal Land Council, Member Indigenous Reference Group, National Museum of Australia and Australian Government Voice Referendum Engagement Group.  

Paul works on country with the ANU, First Nations Portfolio as a Senior Community Engagement Officer

Acknowledgement of Country

Reconciliation Australia acknowledges Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing  connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures; and to Elders past and present. 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should be aware that this website contains images or names of people who have passed away.

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