Deconstructing the Freedom Ride
Task no. 1
Interrogation of events
Whilst by today’s standards, the spirit of the Freedom Ride tour of 1965 may be judged as naïve and amateur, it was a bold and ultimately very powerful event in its time.
When the Freedom Ride took place the media coverage of this event was dominated by newsprint media. As such, newspapers are a very important source of information when conducting historical inquiries into the event and its historical context. In partnership with the National Library of Australia, the State Library of NSW has been working to digitise the Library’s newspaper collection, which are made available through Trove. One of the newspapers that played a key role in the coverage of the Freedom Ride was the Tribune newspaper. The State Library of NSW also holds the collections of photo negatives from the Tribune newspaper, including those taken by photographers covering the Freedom Ride.
Using the links to the newspaper articles below, paying close attention to the date each article was published, answer the following questions:
- How was the organisation SAFA formed and who was involved?
- What were aims of SAFA in undertaking the Freedom Ride?
- How did SAFA raise public awareness to their cause?
- What were some of the major events of the Freedom Ride and how did these unfold?
- What were the criticisms of the Freedom Ride?
- What were the historical implications of the Freedom Ride?
- In what ways could the Freedom Ride have been considered a success, and why?
- In what ways could the Freedom Ride have been considered to have problematic outcomes, and why?
Aims of the Freedom Ride
- Student ride to tell of Aboriginal misery 13 February 1965, The Canberra Times
- Students “amazed” at Aboriginal Support 3 March 1965, Tribune
- SAFA Comes to NSW 3 May 1965, Tribune
Findings of Freedom Ride
- Aborigine rights clash in Walgett 17 February 1965, Tribune
- Moree men in court today 22 February 1965, The Canberra Times
- The Other Side of the Creek 22 February 1965, The Canberra Times
- Lismore next on students’ tour 23 February 1965, The Canberra Times
- Heroic Story of ‘Freedom Ride’ 24 February 1965, Tribune
- Historic Ride 24 February 1965, Tribune
- Students stage race protest in Kempsey 26 February 1965, The Canberra Times
Conditions for Aboriginal people
- Apathy and indifference to Aborigines squalor 23 January 1965, The Canberra Times
- Two New Color Bar Scandals 11 August 1965, Tribune
- Even the cemetery is segregated 25 August 1965, Tribune
- Aboriginal delegation was “shocked and appalled” at shanty town 8 September 1965, Tribune
- Why the Shanty Towns? 8 September 1965, Tribune
- Strange feature in WA doctor-baby case 15 September 1965, Tribune
- Moree residents vote to lift pool ban 18 February 1965, The Canberra Times
- Students to go back to Moree if ban stays 5 March 1965, The Canberra Times
- Segregation 10 March 1965, Tribune
- Moree’s color bar stays on 10 March 1965, Tribune
- Sit-in protest at hotel 22 March 1965, The Canberra Times
- Pool ban may go to court 24 March 1965, The Canberra Times
- Aborigines would sit-in 24 March 1965, Tribune
- Protest over racial row in cinema 10 August 1965, The Canberra Times
- Students gather for protest 11 August 1965, The Canberra Times
- Aborigines win new victory in Walgett 18 August 1965, Tribune
- Aboriginal meeting calls for civil rights legislation 1 September 1965, Tribune