‘When the political debates of our age are past, there will always be our country. Our challenge – all of us – is to live here and call it home; our nation, this thing of the soul.’
In this book, Australia Day, his long-awaited follow-up to the acclaimed memoir Talking to My Country, Stan Grant talks about Australia, our history, about who we are as a nation, about the Indigenous struggle for belonging and identity, and above all, what it means to be Australian.
A sad, wise, beautiful, reflective and troubled book, Australia Day asks the questions that have to be asked, that no one else seems to be asking. Who are we? What is our country? How do we move forward from here? Stan does not look to silence the hard questions arising from the weight of our history – a recognition, and a reckoning, he writes, are important. But with sorrow, anger and a deep measure of pragmatism, he asks whether we, as Australians, can put aside the things that divide us: whether we can find a story to encompass us all. Can we heal the wounds of the past in order to create a shared future in this nation? After the struggle can we find a peace that all can share?
‘Should we move Australia Day? Perhaps someday we will ... For now, 26 January is all that we are. It is all that we are not. Australia lives in that tension …’