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Trevor Grant

On Wednesday I heard the news that Trevor Grant had died. The last time I saw Trevor was at the West Papuan Rent Collective Christmas gathering. He was pale, very weak and obviously dying but he had made the effort to be with friends. He was honoured on the day for his financial generosity to the West Papuan Independence Movement. That day he donated $5,000 to the West Papuan Independence Movement to educate West Papuans. Dr. Jacob Rumbiak announced the education bursary for educating young West Papuans outside their homeland would be called The Trevor Grant Scholarship Fund.

That was Trevor all over, he was kind, humble and generous. A professional journalist for most of his life, he worked for decades as a sports columnist for the corporate owned media. He became so disillusioned with the direction professional sport was going in, he gave up his well-paid journalist job so he could share the other side of the story with the public.

He did this through Community Radio 3CR. His love of sport and the undergo saw him forge ties with the Sri Lankan Tamil community in Australia. He wrote a book about their plight just a year ago. Mesothelioma is a horrible disease, the covering of the lung becomes cancerous normally as a consequence of exposure to asbestos. It’s a particularly cruel disease, hard to treat, invariably the person with the disease has a long painful death.

Trevor did all he could to keep the disease at bay, his struggle for survival came to an end this week. He was intelligent, hardworking, humble, generous to a fault and had the knack of making the most complex stories accessible to the listeners of his programs on 3CR. Trevor Grant was awarded the Eureka Australia Day Medal in 2015 for all the community work he did, his practical support for both Sri Lanka’s Tamils and the West Papuan Independence Movement, his work on 3CR and using what little time he had left to continue the struggle to devolve power, promote equality and give us an insight into how the corporate world destroys everything it gets its paws on.

Farewell Trevor Grant. You will be remembered for caring, for loving those around you, for conducting such a courageous struggle against Mesothelioma while continuing to give back to the people you loved and the communities you became an indispensable part of. You will be missed, your contribution will not go unnoticed. It is the efforts of people like Trevor Grant that make a difference to the lives of so many people. Trevor, your life and the way you continued to contribute to society while fighting your personal battle with so much courage will have an impact on all those who knew you and were touched by you.

Farewell Trevor.

Dr. Joseph Toscano

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