Q+A host Stan Grant has opened up about the time he faced unprovoked racist abuse from a stranger outside of the ABC’s headquarters, just days after calling for the broadcaster to “do better”.
Grant, a Wiradjuri and Kamilaroi man, was attending the national summit on Aboriginal child safety in Adelaide when conversation turned to the incident involving a passerby and “the N-word”.
“I was standing outside the ABC filming … and a young man and his girlfriend walked past me and, as they got close to me, he yelled the N-word loudly at me, right at me,” Grant explained.
“So what if I’m on television, so what if I stayed in the White House with [former US President] Barack Obama …. so what if I can phone the Prime Minister [Anthony Albanese] and he’ll pick up the phone, so what? In that moment, that’s what I was to that person.
“We don’t know when someone’s going to say that. No matter how successful you are, someone can always cut you down.
“Racism can touch us anywhere.”
When breaking the story, Grant was addressing an audience of approximately 250 individuals from across Australia – primarily First Nations experts and frontline workers – at the summit hosted by KWY.
The group is a South Australia-based Aboriginal organisation who, according to their official website, “cover domestic and family violence, child protection, youth work, kinship care, disability, mentoring, Aboriginal education outcomes, perpetrator intervention, and cultural training and consultancy” across Adelaide and other regional centres.
During the summit, Aboriginal Children’s Commissioner April Lawrie called on the South Australian government to take action against the rising rates of Aboriginal children who were being taken into state care, declaring that, “we’re removing [children] but we’re not supporting [families].”
“It’s a telling story when [I] go into a school community to engage with young fullas … to find that I couldn’t take a photo because most of the Aboriginal children in that school community were a child in care [and can’t be identified].
“That speaks more than what you see in data. That is the compelling story about what is going on in our Aboriginal communities, what is the relationship of the state with our Aboriginal families.”
Reportedly, South Australia has a budget in excess of $500m, and only spends roughly $69m per year on early help services for families.
As South Australia’s Child Protection Minister Katrine Hildyard said, the Malinauskas government intends to commit $3.2m to creating a new committee, while increasing the overall budget for family services by $13.4m.
“We know that the current system is not working for Aboriginal families and children,” she stated.
“Listening to the wisdom and experience of Aboriginal people is utterly fundamental to building a better approach.
“This includes our government acknowledging how that legacy of colonisation and experiences of intergenerational trauma and racism influence the issues Aboriginal people face.”
Images: Q+A / Youtube
This article first appeared on Over60.