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“I quickly came to realise my place in this country”: Blanche

25 October 2023
Blanche sings and plays his guitar

Singer/Songwriter John Grant (AKA Blanche) has spoken to Koori Radio’s DJ Bardi Girl about growing up overseas, discovering he wanted to be a musician, and his experiences of racism.

Son of renowned Wiradjuri foreign correspondent Stan Grant, Blanche says he grew up all over the world — and has lived in London, Hong Kong, Beijing, and the United Arab Emirates.

“I always knew I was Aboriginal,” he says. “But I never knew how Aboriginal People were treated.”

Blanche says he didn’t live in Australia full time until he was 14, at which point he experienced casual racism at boarding school.

“I didn’t acknowledge it or bring it up to anyone because I didn’t want to be a nuisance,” he told DJ Bardi Girl.

Reflecting on that time now, the musician wonders if this was the right thing to do.

“Sometimes that’s a bad thing to do — to not speak up on issues that really affect you or affect other people. If you don’t stand up for yourself, you’re not going to stand up for other people.”

Deadly Human Rights is broadcast on Tuesdays from 6pm Sydney time live on Koori Radio 93.7FM or via our app.

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