People & Ideas

Aug 28, 2017

Stan Grant and the monumental turn towards a living history

Stan Grant has been pilloried for suggesting that we modify our historical monuments to more accurately reflect our complicated past. But for some commentators Australia's Anglo-centric history is obstinately set in stone.

Stan Grant has done what journalists should do: bring a debate floating around just below the public gaze into the mainstream, positioning it in the context of long-term shifts in Australian society and attitudes.

Grant hasn’t so much discovered the issue, as he’s mapped it and shared it with the Australian community. The hardest story to write is one that reflects the flow shifting imperceptibly day to day, as opposed to discrete events, one after the other. The easiest story to miss is the one hiding in plain sight.

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2 thoughts on “Stan Grant and the monumental turn towards a living history

  1. old greybearded one

    I was livid at the garbage that was directed at Grant. When Goodes was made Australian of the Year, I foresaw problems. I agree with his worthiness, but thought it better to wait till a sportsman is no longer playing. It felt wrong to me and I think to many. I would have felt the same about any sporting identity. I am however a great supporter of Goodes for what he has attempted. They hate Stan Grant. He is everything they are not. Articulate, intelligent and a world standard journo. Cook was a great navigator and a superb cartographer. He was also a humane and decent man. I was taught he discovered Australia. I have read much since then. Cook was nowhere close, even among the Europeans and he never claimed to be. I feel a bit sorry for him. He gets the blame for what followed and it is really not his fault. Phillip was a pretty decent bloke and did his best. MacQuarie is both angel and demon. The rest of the governors until Gipps in the shadow Myall Creek were worthless. Now there have been great Aboriginal leaders. Where are their statues? Who knows their names?

    1. AR

      It seems that Grant is destined for the same role as many, the acceptable face for the crie du jour.
      They tend to have a very short shelf life.

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