Australia is poised at a critical moment of its history - but the time to act is now. Since publishing 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 Australian dream. But Stan knows this is not where the story ends. Everywhere he goes, he is asked the same questions: What can we do? How can we change the story?
In Australia Day, Stan weaves a story of history, memoir, politics, struggle, survival and hope. Expressing a cautious optimism, he wants to show us that there is something we can all do, that there is a path forward, a way towards true reconciliation. For Stan, the creation of the Australian nation and the repression of the Indigenous people is integrally woven together. He has long been fascinated by the history of Jimmy Governor - also a Wiradjuri man - a man who was pushed to intolerable limits. Found guilty of murder, he was sentenced to hang, but the execution date was delayed by almost two months due to planned festivities to celebrate Australian Federation. Jimmy Governor was finally hanged at Darlinghurst gaol on 18 January 1901, just days after the official birth of the Australian nation.
But Stan believes that with the recent establishment of the Referendum Council on constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the coming referendum, there is a huge opportunity facing Australia - an opportunity to fix past wrongs and set an optimistic path for the future and true reconciliation. It's the right thing to do. But we have to do it NOW.