Freedom Rides

995 Words4 Pages
AUS1004 – Indigenous Studies Discuss the effectiveness and value of the freedom rides. What did they achieve? Within this essay I will firstly be discussing the New South Wales Freedom Rides and what in fact they were trying to achieve, furthermore their effectiveness in awakening our society to the reality of Australian racism. Prior to 1965 was a discriminatory time in Australian history, particularly in relation to the social discriminatory barriers which existed between Aboriginals’ and Australia’s white European population (Taffe, 2007). The Freedom Rides idea was sparked in 1964 when a group of Sydney university students were protesting outside the United States Consulate for Negro civil rights. The students were…show more content…
This shocked many Australian viewers and started to apply pressure on the Government to act, as this was a time when civil rights movements were taking place worldwide. Australia’s smugness and arrogance had been punctured. The problem was out in the open. The world had now seen that racism was in fact occurring in Australia (Perkins 1967, found in Taffe, 2007). The freedom rides through the NSW towns drew a large amount of publicity, raising awareness of racial discrimination in Australia, in turn, strengthening the resulting campaigns aiming to eradicate it (Taffe, 2007). Racial segregation was challenged and in some cases ended, and alternative ideas of inclusion, equality, and full citizenship rights were much debated (Curthoys,…show more content…
Did it eradicate social discrimination? The answer is no, there are still many of the problems seen in the 1960s around today, particularly in relation to racism, indigenous health, education, employment and housing. However, the freedom Rides did in fact alter society in a positive way. Charles Perkins, the Aboriginal leader, fascinated the press in the 1960s with his ability to communicate to both indigenous and white Australians, emphasising freedom, dignity and human rights (Curthoys, 2002). Following on in Perkins footsteps were many other indigenous leaders, not only in the political sphere, but also communicators through film, art, song, sport and writing (Curthoys, 2002). Indigenous people are now speaking out and standing up for themselves which was unheard of in the 1960s. This is one of the biggest and most positive changes that can be distinguished as a result of the Freedom Rides, and is definitely a large bound in the direction of overall social acceptance (Taffe,

More about Freedom Rides

Open Document