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Aboriginal Australian activist Douglas Grant (b. circa 1885-1951) was in foster care as a child.

Douglas Grant was born into an Aboriginal community in far north Queensland. The only survivor of a massacre of his people, he was taken in and raised by Robert Grant, a Scottish migrant working at the Australian Museum.

Douglas Grant served in the Australian Army during World War I and was a prisoner of war in Germany. On his return to Australia, Grant endured considerable racism and struggled with mental health problems. He became an activist for Aboriginal people and the rights of returned soldiers, speaking out through newspapers and via his own radio program.

Douglas Grant’s story is one of those told in the Tom Wright play, Black Diggers, which premiered at the 2014 Sydney Festival.


“Douglas Grant.” Australian War Memorial, 2020.

Image available here.