Impact Of The Freedom Ride

1482 Words 6 Pages
In 1965 the freedom ride rode through western New South Wales towns as a way to draw attention to the racism that was absent. This was done by an Aboriginal student named Charles Perkins who drove a bus around protesting the discrimination against Aboriginal people in small towns in NSW. The freedom ride in Australia had a significant impact on Australians attitudes at that time towards indigenous rights. The main points being discussed will be how Charles Perkins and the Freedom Ride impacted society in the 1960’s.

The freedom ride was a way of exposing the discrimination against Aboriginals. Their purpose was to make people aware of this situation. There were arguments both for and against the Freedom Rides in 1965. Although it helped benefit
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This led to public pressure on the government therefore making them act upon the discrimination. This exposed the distinct discrimination that was present in the towns and cities. It also helped support Aboriginals taking an active role in resisting discrimination. This included seeking effective political representation. The freedom ride and the subsequent follow-up trips provided the foundations for the development of Aboriginal Legal and Medical Services in rural Australian towns. Like the American freedom ride of 1961, the Australian freedom ride was largely successful in completing most of their original goals. The Student Action for Aborigines group was able to prompt huge media and public interest in the discrimination and segregation of the indigenous population. This sparked a national debate on Aboriginal affairs that would later lead to the 1967 referendum for Aboriginal rights. It helped expose the social barrier that existed between the indigenous and white populations of Australia. It also began breaking it down through public awareness, and the lobbying of governments for law amendments. The ride was able to generate huge publicity in the country towns it passed through, and exposed the issues they were trying to …show more content…
The Freedom Ride was even criticized by some Aboriginal groups, who believed that they "simply stirred up trouble" in the towns they visited, and left the villagers there to deal with the aftermath. The Freedom Rides also generated many opposition groups, mostly among the white populations in rural areas. The white population in the country towns the Freedom Ride visited was used to the bias and discrimination that it directed at the indigenous population. This was determined in keeping the Aboriginal population away from the white communities of the town, as did most contemporary conservative Australians. It restricted the aborigines from sharing some of the spaces they used, such as pubs, pools, etc. and made black areas in towns to keep white contact with the indigenous population minimal. The townspeople would often act aggressively towards the Freedom Riders when they entered town, and Perkins described them with, ‘They were swearing viciously in an attempt to provoke the fight they all wanted’. At one point, near Moree, the bus was even rammed and forced off the road by an unidentified driver, although this lead to the discovery of the Moree council revoking their promise to allow Aborigines into the local pool. The long-term achievements of the Freedom Ride were far

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