Stan Grant puts the booing of Adam Goodes into historical and social perspective (this YouTube clip now includes all four speakers)

Stan Grant spoke at the IQ2 debate at The Ethics Centre in Sydney. If you have never heard this history, now is your opportunity.

He was followed by columnist Rita Panahi, then lawyer Pallavi Sinha, and actor Jack Thompson.







About John Harms

JTH is a writer, publisher, speaker, historian. He is publisher and contributing editor of The Footy Almanac and He has written columns and features for numerous publications. His books include Confessions of a Thirteenth Man, Memoirs of a Mug Punter, Loose Men Everywhere, Play On, The Pearl: Steve Renouf's Story and Life As I Know It (with Michelle Payne). He appears on ABCTV's Offsiders. He can be contacted [email protected] He is married to The Handicapper and has three kids - Theo13, Anna11, Evie10. He might not be the worst putter in the world but he's in the worst three. His ambition is to lunch for Australia.


  1. I love Australia's indigenous people says


    I always recommend Bill Bryson’s “Down Under’ to anyone who is ignorant about the appalling injustices perpetrated on our indigenous people. If you booed Adam Goodes last year, one of the reasons is because you haven’t read Bryson’s account of his time on our shores.

  2. Keiran Croker says

    Thanks for sharing this John. I have also posted to Facebook.

  3. Andrew Walker says

    Have listened to Stan a couple of times and read the article also. Also listened to many opinions on the Goodes issue but have come to the conclusion that so many of us are unqualified to comment because we don’t actually know what racism is. As a white Anglo-Saxon I have never experienced any of the things that Stan talks about in his article. Should be compulsory reading for anyone who wishes to make serious comment. At the time of the apology our local member walked out. I wonder if she has read or listened to Stan.

  4. Peter Flynn says

    Sadly I don’t read much outside of the Almanac.

    However I do read Stan Grant.

    I reckon we all should.

  5. jan courtin says

    Nothing at all to say really, except that it’s very apt with “Invasion Day” coming up.
    Stan Grant says it all!
    Brought a tear to the eye.

    Thanks for posting it John

  6. Many people I talk with were unaware of this story.
    Of this aspect of Australia’s history.
    Spreading the message becomes very important.

    Well done S Grant.

  7. An incredibly powerful speech, it should be essential viewing for all.

    Well done Stan Grant and thanks for putting it on the Footy Alamanac site Harmsy.

  8. Thanks for putting up ALL 4 speakers JTH. I find the hype around the Grant speech a bit mystifying. Its a wonderful piece of oratory, overlaying the cruel racist history of Australia with his family story. I can understand why it appeals to the perpetual apologists. Personally I find it unpersuasive that the causes of our current problems (poor infant mortality and life expectancy) are essentially rooted in our history. Connected yes, but caused – no.
    When the debate moved from emotion to intellect I found Rita Panahi and Jack Thompson much more persuasive. Particularly Jack’s use of the Irish as an example of how the powerful have always clung to privilege by diminishing the worth of the other.
    But when I share with those of us that are struggling on the margins of society and ask myself “what has gone wrong in our world/what has brought you here brother?” – I find the explanation much more in greed and spiritual poverty. The concentration of wealth among our own oligarchy, and how tax and the law protect that privilege – denies opportunity to the everyman. Yet we are largely blind to that class and corporate robbery, while ‘racism’ is a simple concept that everyone can see. Real – yes – but limited and more a distraction than a compelling dilemma.
    And what of sexual, physical and emotional violence toward women? The frustrated lashing out of the neutered male. Fed by self loathing, porn, drugs and alcohol. And as a disease of the powerless, widely perpetrated in indigenous families as much as in the wider community.
    Now there’s some big issues worth debating on Invasion Day, more than self flagellating over ‘racism’ and a cruel history that all societies share. Sunni and Shia. Catholic and Protestant, Orthodox and Catholic. Red Indian and Settlers. Hatred of the other, and justifying dispossession on the basis of inferior worth is a fact of all human history and our mutual self-justification.
    The on-field demise of Collingwood and Carlton and Essendon, locked in their ancient feuds. See – the meek do inherit the flag. You steal our players and local competitions, but we get our revenge on the playing field. “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” (MLK).

  9. Good points. We must never forget that White Australia has a Black history, but there is much more to this inequality than just racism.
    In the first decade of this century economic inequality reached levels not seen since pre WW!. It certainly has been resolved in the last decade. As we stop seeing ourselves as a society, perceiving the world as a market where cash exchange for personal benefit becomes the primary nexus, those who were already doing it hard become even more disenfranchised. In a world where the commodification of all aspects of living is pivotal equality of outcomes becomes even less likely.

    Having done my Honours in Australian history, I find the wide spread ignorance of our past galling. Who knows of the stories of people like William Cooper? Australian history Is more than just a military disaster in the dardanelles, or claiming , for over 200 years that another mobs land was terra nullius, allowing the British to invade it.

    Two Q’s for Andrew Waler. Was your local member Sofia Mirabella? I missed Bel Dancers last run, after scoring on it when it ran in Corowa. Next start?


  10. Andrew Walker says

    You’ve got it in one Glen. Bel Dancer’s next start will probably be at Albury mid Feb. She has pulled up well again and I’d much rather talk about her than our previous MP. Will keep you posted.

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