Deconstructing the Freedom Ride

Student activities

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


Findings of Freedom Ride


Conditions for Aboriginal people