What was Charles Perkins' role in the 'Freedom Rides' event? Why? What was the significance of Freedom Rides for Australia in post war world? Please include some quotes.

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krcavnar | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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Charles Perkins was the first indigenous Australian, Aboriginal to graduate from University in Australia.  He was a noted soccer player and was activist.  He spent his life working for rights for Aboriginal peoples.  There is an extensive biography along with video on the website http://www.australianbiography.gov.au/subjects/perkins/.  He has said so many important things it is hard to choose a specific quote that does justice to the events of his life.

Inspired by the Freedom Rides that were occurring in the United States in an attempt to force the integration of interstate buses and bus terminals, Charles Perkins  and a group called the Student Action for Aboriginals (SAFA) led a group of students from Sydney University for a bus tour through rural New South Wales.  The objective was to expose racism against the Aboriginals and draw attention to their poor living conditions.  They experienced similar violence as did the protesters in the United States.  Their actions ultimately led to a change in the laws regarding the treatment of the Aboriginals two years later in 1967.

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