Reading list: Freedom Ride

AIATSIS Collections

Feb, 2015
Product type: 
Collection guides

This reading list will provide you with a list of sources, news articles and external websites about the 1965 Freedom Ride. 

Your first stop for information should be our curated online exhibition, the 1965 Freedom Ride, which brings together primary sources from students that took part in this landmark event with newspaper coverage from the time.

You can also search our collections for further information that may not be listed below.

Planning for the ride by Student Action for Aborigines (SAFA)

These documents give insights into the thinking of the students at the time and how they raised money to undertake the bus trip.

S.A.F.A Constitution (PDF 197 KB)

SAFA Newsletter 'Talkabout' (PDF 599 KB)

Press release (PDF 75 KB)

Letter from Australian Aboriginal Fellowship (PDF 341 KB)

Aboriginal Questionnaire (PDF 113 KB)

European Questionnaire (PDF 112 KB)

Copy of ‘Authority to enter and be upon an Aborigines Reserve’ issued by the Aborigines Welfare Board to B. Corr, D. Cassidy, W. Golding and S. Loftus for the Gulargambone Aborigines Reserve, 14 January 1966

After the Freedom Ride

What the Freedom Riders Said

The student bus war, phosphorus and nausea: (PDF 1164 KB) SAFA interviewed, in Outlook, Vol. 9, No. 2, April 1965, p. 4-10 (interviews with Charles Perkins, Jim Spigelman, Patricia Healy, Patrick Dawson and John Butterworth)

SAFA interviewed [manuscript version] Part 1, (PDF 599 KB) Part 2,(PDF 834 KB) MS 4185, Freedom Ride Papers of Pat Healy, AIATSIS Library, Canberra.

Student Action for Aborigines Report, p. 47-48. (PDF 348 KB) Perkins, Charles: [FCAATSI] Conference on Aboriginal Affairs 1965

Beth Hauser: Our Freedom Ride, in Overland, No. 32, (PDF 730 KB) Spring 1965, p. 38-40

Jim Spigelman: Reactions to the SAFA Tour, in Dissent, No. 14, (PDF 986 KB) Winter 1965, p. 44-49

Jim Spigelman: Student Action for Aborigines, in Vestes, (PDF 444 KB) The Australian University Review, Vol. III, No. 2, June 1965, p. 116-118

Follow up meeting, Freedom Ride and You: Public Meeting (PDF 40 KB) [SAFA, April 1965]

SAFA Submission to the Joint Committee of the Legislative Council and Legislative Assembly upon Aborigines Welfare’, June 1966

Ann Curthoys - The Freedom Ride – Its Significance Today.(PDF 107 KB) A public lecture by Prof Ann Curthoys at the National Museum of Australia Wednesday 4 September 2002


RSL men rap the color-bar ‘riders’, Article in the Herald, 16 February 1965

Students get new bus driver, Herald, 22 February 1965

Country tour in bid to aid aboriginals, Article in the Herald, 12 February 1965

The Freedom Riders (PDF 276 KB)by Ian Howie-Willis in Encyclopaedia of Aboriginal Australia, Canberra, Aboriginal Studies Press, 1994

A journey to fight Aboriginal Discrimination by Ann Curthoys in Australian Geographic Issue 97 (Jan - Mar 2010)

Walgett’s painful transition (PDF 370 KB)

Freedom Ride finding aids in the AIATSIS MURA® catalogue

MS 4185 - Freedom Ride Papers of Pat Healy

MS 4186 - Freedom Ride Papers of Ann Curthoys

External websites

The ABC created 80 Days That Changed Our Lives to showcase audio visual treasures from the ABC's 80-year-old archives, which included an excerpt of the ABC radio coverage of the 'Freedom Ride' bus tour through rural NSW - Moree Pool Ban.

The National Museum of Australia's online exhibition, Collaborating for Indigenous Rights, showcases the 1965 Freedom Ride in the context of the fight for Indigenous rights in Australia.

A 2011 re-enactment of the Freedom Ride in Lismore is covered in Whadyaknow about the Freedom Ride by ABC Online. ;

Rachel Perkins, daughter of Charles Perkins and director of Blackfella Films, directed Blood Brothers - Freedom Ride (1993) for the Australian Film Commission.

The Australian Biography website presents a number of interviews with Charles Perkins, including a video interview about the Freedom Ride.

Last reviewed: 12 Sep 2016