indigenous history

Lost images of Australia’s 1965 Freedom Ride

History & Culture

One hundred photos of Australia’s Freedom Ride – the now historic 1965 campaign that protested discrimination against indigenous Australians – have been discovered in the archives of the State Library of NSW. Led by one of the first indigenous students at the University of Sydney, Kumantjayi (Charles) Perkins, the Freedom Ride was a bus tour of western and coastal NSW communities that received intense media coverage at the height of the ’60s indigenous civil rights movement. Put together by Sydney University’s Student Action for Aborigines (SAFA), the ride protested continued differences in indigenous and non-indigenous rights in Australia – particularly exclusion of indigenous people from using public places like the Bowraville Picture Theatre, the Walgett RSL and the Moree Baths. The historic photos were captured by photographer and journalist Noel Hazzard from The Tribune – a newspaper run by Communist Party of Australia – who spent one week in Moree and in nearby Walgett on the Freedom Ride. The images are now showing for the first time in an exhibition at the State Library of New South Wales called: Freedom Ride ’65: Unpublished photos from The Tribune Archive.