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Bruce Alexander Grant

Doctor of Letters honoris causa
Bruce Grant c.1960s.jpg
Born(1925-04-04)4 April 1925
Died3 August 2022(2022-08-03) (aged 97)
Melbourne, Australia
OccupationJournalist, foreign correspondent, government advisor, diplomat, novelist, political commentator
EducationUniversity of Melbourne
GenreJournalism, fiction, history
SubjectCinema, theatre, politics
Notable worksGrant, Bruce (1979), The boat people, Harmondsworth, Penguin, ISBN 978-0-14-005531-3
Notable awardsDistinguished Fellow, Australian Institute of International Affairs (2010); Doctor of Letters (honoris causa), Monash University (2013)
SpouseEnid (dec.), Joan, Ratih
ChildrenSusan, Johanna, Jaems, David, Ben
Bruce Grant (4 April 1925 – 3 August 2022) was an Australian writer; a journalist, foreign correspondent, government advisor, diplomat, novelist and author of several books on Australian politics and foreign policy.
1 Early life
2 Journalist
3 Intellectual, creative and administrative contributions to the arts
4 Foreign affairs
5 Legacy
6 Awards
7 Books
8 References
Early life
Bruce Alexander Grant was born in Perth in 1925 and grew up in outback Western Australia. His success in a state exam won him a place at Perth Modern School.
Grant cut short his final year of secondary schooling to join Perth afternoon newspaper, the Daily News as a reporter. After military service, he studied arts at the University of Melbourne, under Manning Clark (to whom later in London he became close), and where he could combine the academic study with a diploma course in journalism. From that he launched a career writing criticism on Australian film and theatre noting in 1958, that;
If we get a dramatist with the same poetic vision for lonely heroism as the painter Sidney Nolan and novelist Patrick White, the stage will need more air .
He was employed by Melbourne's The Age newspaper, where he was the only university graduate on staff. In 1954 he left the country to become the paper's London correspondent, covering subjects as diverse as that city's premiere of the Australian play Summer of the Seventeenth Doll; Robert Menzies' 1956 failed attempt to negotiate with Egypt's president Gamal Nasser during the Suez Crisis; and the Hungarian revolution.
In 1964, Grant resigned as The Age’s Washington correspondent, having reported from there during the terms of two Presidents, Kennedy and Johnson.
Intellectual, creative and administrative contributions to the arts
Grant also wrote for magazines as varied as Walkabout, The New Yorker, Mademoiselle, Playboy, Cleo, The Bulletin, Quadrant, Overland and Meanjin, and was an author of three novels on the theme 'Love in the Asian Century', and of short stories, and essays including "The Great Pretender at the Bar of Justice," written at the trial of Slobodan Milošević, published in The Best Australian Essays 2002; and "Bali: The Spirit of Here and Now," written after the October 2002 bombings, published in The Best Australian Essays 2004.
He spent periods researching and teaching in universities, including as a Nieman Fellow at Harvard, and a member of the councils of Monash, where he lectured in statecraft to young diplomats, and Deakin universities.
Grant promoted Australian culture, and its links with Asia as chair of the Australian Dance Theatre, and the Victorian Premier's Literary Awards, and president of Melbourne's International Film Festival, and of the Spoleto Festival, which became the Melbourne International Arts Festival.
Foreign affairs
Grant was witness to, and an influence on, centres of power in Australia for several decades, as journalist and foreign correspondent, diplomat, public intellectual, and advisor to Menzies, whose letter of reference to ambassadors facilitated his reporting as Asian correspondent, and to subsequent governments from Whitlam to Hawke and Keating.
He was chairman of the Australia-Indonesia Institute and his book Indonesia (1964) remains a classic and insightful study of Australia's relations with its most powerful near neighbour.
From 1972 Grant advised the new prime minister Gough Whitlam, who “startled officials at a meeting by introducing me as his Dr Kissinger,” and appointed Grant as Australian High Commissioner to India (1973–1976) in which post he was an early advocate of the importance of Asia to Australia, having asked as he diverged from his career as journalist;
Can the newspapers stop Australia from turning inward, from becoming isolationist? (Roy Milne Memorial Lecture, 7 August 1969)Grant campaigned to abolish the White Australia policy, opposed the Vietnam war as counterproductive to Australia's credibility in S.E. Asia, and joined the Australian Committee for a New China Policy, urging recognition of the People's Republic of China. Through his The Boat People he analysed, and promoted understanding of, the political causes and social ramifications of increasing numbers of Vietnamese refugees arriving by boat on Australia's shores.
Consultant to the federal Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Gareth Evans, 1988–91, they co-wrote Australia's Foreign Relations in the World of the 1990s (1991).
In 2008 Grant initiated the colloquium 'Australia as a Middle-Ranking Power' hosted in Canberra at Manning Clark House in Conjunction with the Australian Institute of International Affairs.
In 2017 Grant released his memoir Subtle moments: scenes on a life's journey, named from a phrase from Albert Camus who wrote of "that subtle moment when man glances backward over his life ... contemplat that series of unrelated actions which become his fate"
Bruce Grant died 3 August 2022 at the age of 97 and five years after publishing his autobiography, survived by his sister Jocelyn and four of his five children Susan, Jaems, David and Ben, six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, and predeceased by his sister Audrey, daughter Johanna and first wife Enid.
2003: Doctor of Letters (honoris causa), Monash University
2010: Distinguished Fellow, Australian Institute of International Affairs
Grant, Bruce; Australian Institute of International Affairs (1969), Foreign affairs and the Australian press, Australian Institute of International Affairs
Grant, Bruce; Australian Institute of International Affairs (1972), The crisis of loyalty : a study of Australian foreign policy (Rev. ed.), Angus and Robertson the Australian Institute of International Affairs, ISBN 978-0-207-12472-3
Hickman, Arthur Thomas Godfrey (1977), Grant, Bruce (ed.), Arthur and Eric : an Anglo-Australian story from the journal of Arthur Hickman, Heinemann Australia, ISBN 978-0-85561-041-8
Grant, Bruce (1978), The security of South-East Asia, International Institute for Strategic Studies, ISBN 978-0-86079-017-4
Grant, Bruce; Flinders University (1978), Asia, war and peace, Flinders University of South Australia, retrieved 31 October 2019
Grant, Bruce (1980), Cherry Bloom, Aurora Press ;  : , ISBN 978-0-86748-000-9
Grant, Bruce (1979), The boat people, Harmondsworth, Penguin, ISBN 978-0-14-005531-3
Grant, Bruce (1983), The Australian dilemma : a new kind of Western society, Macdonald Futura Australia, ISBN 978-0-86771-003-8
Grant, Bruce (1985), Australia and the twenty-first century, Australian National University, ISBN 978-0-86784-751-2
Grant, Bruce (1988), What kind of country? : Australia and the twenty-first century, Penguin, ISBN 978-0-14-010681-7
Grant, Bruce (1995), The Budd family, Hyland House, ISBN 978-1-875657-53-7
Grant, Bruce (1996), Indonesia (3rd ed.), Melbourne University Press, ISBN 978-0-522-84745-1
Grant, Bruce (1999), A furious hunger : America in the 21st century, Melbourne University Press, ISBN 978-0-522-84792-5
Grant, Bruce (2004), Fatal attraction : reflections on the alliance with the United States, Black Inc, ISBN 978-0-9750769-3-4
Grant, Bruce; Masters, Diane; Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne (2006), The Governor's moment, Grant Pub, ISBN 978-0-646-46657-6
Conley Tyler, Melissa H; Miller, Geoff (2008), Australia as a Middle Power : Report of a Colloquium on 'Australia as a Middle-Ranking Power' Proposed by Bruce Grant, Leading Writer on International Affairs, and Hosted in Canberra by Manning Clark House in Conjunction with the Australian Institute of International Affairs, Australian Institute of International Affairs, ISBN 978-0-909992-55-2
Grant, Bruce (2014), A young woman from China, Bruce Grant, ISBN 978-0-9925514-0-7
Grant, Bruce (2014), The last kiss, , ISBN 978-0-9925514-2-1
Grant, Bruce (2015), Crossing the Arafura Sea, , ISBN 978-0-9925514-4-5
Grant, Bruce (2017), Subtle moments : scenes on a life's journey, Monash University Publishing, ISBN 978-1-925495-35-5
Bruce Grant (writer)
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