Art and Activism and Civil Rights
Arts Monday’s Jane Raffan in conversation with Matt Poll, Sydney University’s Indigenous Heritage curator, about the Freedom Rides of 1965, and the work of a group of artists produced in response for an exhibition titled, ‘Freedom Riders: Art and activism 1960s to now’.
Inspired by the ‘freedom rides’ into the segregated southern states of the USA in the 1960s, the 1965 Australian Freedom Ride took a busload of Sydney University students into regional NSW to expose Australia’s treatment of Aboriginal people.
The Australian Freedom Ride was an important part of the broader movement for civil rights and helped create momentum for changes to Australia’s policies regarding Indigenous Australians and Indigenous rights, including the landmark 1967 referendum.
The Australian Government is still considering options for constitutional recognition of our first peoples. Proposed changes to the constitution will be subject to a national referendum. In-depth information on the process, including the opportunity to have your say, can be found here: