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Douglas Grant: The Skin of Others by Tom Murray

photograph of grant family

Douglas Grant: The Skin of Others by Tom Murray (Tarpaulin Productions/Radio National Earshot) 

Judges' Comments 

Douglas Grant: The Skin of Others is a sophisticated story of cross-cultural exchange and an extraordinarily evocative radio program of impressive historical and emotional depth. Tom Murray’s skills as both a scholar and accomplished producer of history in the media are prominent throughout. The stories of Australia’s frontier wars and Anzac experience are woven together to reveal the ways in which people’s life stories change over time and in different hands. 

The Australian War Memorial now reveres Grant but when he returned from Europe at the end of the Great War he was refused a soldier’s settlement because he was black, became a victim of racial discrimination, and was admitted into Callan Park hospital. Grant became a powerful advocate of Indigenous rights while battling alcoholism and mental health issues. Murray skilfully intersperses interviews with an array of historians, Aboriginal elders and Grant’s descendants to reveal a troubling history of race, resilience and the legacy of colonial wars. And it sheds new light on some of the ways in which contemporary Australians are reconciling these today.