Stan Grant (Wiradjuri elder)

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For other people named Stan Grant, see Stan Grant (disambiguation).
Stan Grant (in 2005)

Stanley Vernard "Stan" Grant, Sr. (born 1940)[1] AM is an elder of the Wiradjuri tribe of Indigenous Australians from what is now the south-west inland region of the state of New South Wales, Australia.

Background and language work[edit]

Grant is one of the few people still living to have heard native speakers of his tribe's Wiradjuri language, having been brought up as a child around native speakers of his grandfather's generation, notably his grandfather, Wilfred Johnson. Johnson was arrested in the late 1940s after a policeman overheard him calling to his son in Wiradjuri - it was forbidden to use aboriginal languages in public[citation needed] - and detained overnight in a cell. From that day on, his grandfather refrained from speaking his native language in public.[1]

He has been crucial to the reconstruction of the Wiradjuri language along with Dr John Rudder, with whom he travels among the Wiradjuri people, teaching their language. From a small base of anthropological records, they have rebuilt the spoken and sung language among both urban and rural tribal members. In 2005 they published "A New Wiradjuri Dictionary”, running to some 600 pages.[1] In 2006 this work was recognised with the Deadly award of Outstanding Achievement in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education.[2]


Grant is the father of Australian and international television personality and journalist, Stan Grant, who is currently indigenous affairs editor for the Guardian.


  • Stories Told By My Grandfather and the Other Old Men
  • Crossing Cultures

With Dr John Rudder:

  • Learning Wiradjuri 1-5 (graded texts)
  • Learning Wiradjuri 1&2 CD
  • A Teaching Wiradjuri Support CD
  • Eric Looks for a Friend (PowerPoint book)
  • Wiradjuri Language Songs for Children
  • Wiradjuri Language Song Book 2
  • CD of Wiradjuri Language Songs
  • Wiradjuri Language – How it works: A Grammar in Everyday English
  • Wiradjuri Language A First Dictionary of Wiradjuri
  • Wiradjuri Sentence Book
  • Wiradjuri Language Black Line Poster Masters
  • Wiradjuri Language Black Line Masters – Book 1 (Colouring-in)
  • Wiradjuri Language Black Line Masters – Book 2 – Learn to Draw
  • Wiradjuri Language Colouring-in Books 1 and 2
  • Wiradjuri Language Learn to Draw Books 1 and 2
  • English Language Blackline Poster Masters of Australian Natural Science & People
  • Unlabelled Blackline Poster Masters of Australian Natural Science & People


Grant was named a Member of the Order of Australia on 8 June 2009 "for service to Indigenous education and the preservation and promotion of the Wiradjuri language and culture, as a teacher and author, and to youth"[3] He was granted an honorary doctorate of Letters by Charles Sturt University in December 2013 in recognition of his work to the indigenous communities. The vice-chancellor of CSU, Andrew Vann" is quoted as saying ""[Grant] has made an outstanding contribution to Charles Sturt University's regions, especially to Indigenous communities … As an Elder, author and teacher, he has made an outstanding intellectual contribution to our communities. His deep involvement in the introduction of the University's new Graduate Certificate in Wiradjuri Language, Culture and Heritage program in 2014 is a clear demonstration of his work."[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Michelle Innis, 'An Heir to a Tribe’s Culture Ensures Its Language Is Not Forgotten,' New York Times 8 April 2016.
  2. ^ Vibe magazine report with photo Archived October 12, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ "Stan Grant AM". Australian Honours Database. Retrieved 16 April 2011. 
  4. ^ Halloran, Fiona (11 December 2013). "Honorary doctorate for life's work to reclaim Wiradjuri language". Retrieved 9 March 2016. 

External links[edit]