Comparing childhood experiences

Student activities

Task no. 1

Charlie and Rachel

Charlie (Charles) Perkins was born in Alice Springs in the Northern Territory in 1936. Charlie’s mother and father were both the children of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal parents. Charlie had one full-sibling and nine half-siblings from his mother’s side. He went to St Mary’s Church School in Alice Springs, St Francis House for Aboriginal Boys in Adelaide, the Metropolitan Business College in Sydney and the University of Sydney, where he was the first Aboriginal man in Australia to graduate from University.

Charlie’s daughter, Rachel, was born in 1970, and was the middle of three children. Her mother was German-born.

Compare the childhoods of Charlie and Rachel Perkins, through an analysis of the often-changing rights and freedoms of Aboriginal people between 1936-1951 and 1970-1985. Consider the policies that were in place at these times, and how they may have changed within each time period, significant events in the history of Aboriginal peoples’ rights and freedoms both within these time periods and between them, the composition of their families and how this may have been pertinent at that time in history, their standards of living, and the threats and opportunities that would have existed for Aboriginal people during each of their childhoods.