Vale Trevor Grant: advocate for Tamil refugees

March 11, 2017
Trevor Grant passed away on March 6.

Trevor Grant passed away on March 6, after a long battle with asbestos-caused mesothelioma.

Trevor was well known as a sports reporter, particularly for his reporting on AFL, for many Melbourne newspapers. While the mainstream media has focused on that aspect of his life, what was not mentioned was the contribution he made to the community via 3CR, a community radio station in Melbourne, and as convenor of the Tamil Refugee Council.

Trevor was a staunch and proud leftie, a passionate advocate of refugee rights, and fought hard for the recognition of the Tamil genocide and the struggle for West Papuan Independence. He was also a committed supporter of Palestine and the rights of Indigenous peoples around the world.

Trevor always said it was a privilege to be part of 3CR, but it was our privilege to have him as part of our community. He presented both Refugee Radio, where he strove to amplify the voices of refugees and people seeking asylum around the world, and What$ the $core $port, a program that examined how sport has been hijacked by the corporate world.

3CR secretary Terry Costello explained the popularity of his sport program: “Trevor pulled no punches as a journalist and his sport program exposed the dark and toxic aspects of many sports that are now dominated by corporate interests and corporate thinking. His was the only sports program that was always critical of the role of corporate interests in sport.”

Former station manager Marian McKeown described Trevor as staunch, smart, generous, a brilliant journalist and a lovely man.

“I'll miss his tales of sticking it to the man at the Collingwood Football Club and his total commitment to fighting Tamil genocide. It fills me with rage to think his illness was caused by such a callous pursuit of profit. Of course, that was his fight long before he became sick. Vale comrade.”

Trevor was convenor of the Tamil Refugee Council and in this role provided support and advocacy for Tamil refugees and people seeking asylum for many years.

He worked tirelessly raising awareness about human rights abuses in Sri Lanka, compiling news articles, as well as organising protests and rallies in Melbourne. He visited refugee camps in India to meet with families of those impacted by the war, and meet with Tamil leaders.

Trevor was incredibly passionate about the Tamil people and their cause. Many Tamils remember the support he offered them, the friendship he showed them and the energy he displayed fighting for them and their freedom. He supported the community through material aid, trips to hospitals and doctors’ visits, Christmas parties and visits to detention centres.

He published a book about the Sri Lankan genocide, Sri Lanka's Secrets: How the Rajapaksa Regime gets away with murder, as a way of expressing his rage against the system.

He leaves behind his children Matthew and Caroline, and his new grandchild.

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