Freedom Rides History

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A Ride Into The History Books It has been nearly 50 years since a group of university students changed the future of the original owners of the land, the Indigenous Australians. A racial discrimination protest for Indigenous Australians was held to give media awareness and coverage on the issues faced by the Aboriginal community. They were called the Freedom Rides and they began on the 12th of February 1965. Led by their Aboriginal president, Charles Perkins (a 3rd year arts student born in Alice Springs), students from The University of Sydney formed a group known as the Student Action for Aboriginals (SAFA). The group marched through the New South Wales western country towns where they protested and picketed, raising the issue of…show more content…
This was another successful campaign and by this stage there was both national and international press coverage. With the media on board, the Freedom Rides were a great success. Before the media coverage of the protest, most Aboriginal people were forced to live on the outskirts of towns in terrible conditions, without access to the same facilities as other town members. This is a hard treatment for those that first colonized the land. Treated unfairly because of their skin tone they were not included in the Australian census, were refused service in shops, hotels, pools and cafes. The media coverage following the bus of University students gave international wide awareness of the discrimination issues being experienced by Indigenous people. A couple of years later it was obvious that the Freedom Rides were successful as in 1967 a referendum was passed which banned discrimination of Indigenous Australians and allowed the federal government to be responsible for Aboriginal affairs. The Freedom Rides helped end the ‘ White Australia Policy’ and was overall a huge event in the civil rights history for Indigenous Australians in the 20th century. The campaign put the government under pressure and highlighted the immoral practices of the Australian communities at that

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