February 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the ‘Freedom Ride’. This was when a bus load of university students, led by fellow student and budding Aboriginal activist Charles (aka Charlie) Perkins, set out from Sydney University in a bus bound for regional NSW. Their mission?: to expose racism towards Aboriginal people across NSW (and indeed Australia).

The 1965 Freedom Ride was influenced by the American civil rights ‘freedom rides’, and was one of the events that changed Australian peoples’ perceptions about our first nations peoples, and paved the way for the 1967 Referendum.

Student Action for Aborigines bus, February 1965 (image AIATSIS)
Student Action for Aborigines bus, February 1965 (image AIATSIS)

Check out AIATSIS’s online exhibition to find out more, see here.

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