The Freedom Ride single work   drama   children's   - 1:15
Issue Details: First known date: 2016... 2016 The Freedom Ride
AustLit is a subscription service. The content and services available here are limited because you have not been recognised as a subscriber. Find out how to gain full access to AustLit

AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'From July 1964 to February 1965 a group of students at the University of Sydney planned, and put in motion, an action designed to draw attention to racial discrimination against Aborigines. This culminated in thirty of these students, most of them under twenty years of age, going on a bus trip around racist towns in Northern NSW. An action known today as The Australian Freedom Ride. This groundbreaking campaign for indigenous rights in Australia is a joyful and inspirational story of courage and conviction, which brought many Australians together during the sixties in a shared cause. Through interactive drama & storytelling, our audience are immersed in the civil rights issues of the day, and, hopefully, are encouraged to investigate the state of racism and indigenous rights now.'

'... The play starts with at a meeting on the Sydney University campus where the students plan and prepare for the campaign. It then zooms in on events transpiring in the town of Walgett. The characters portrayed are key people who were there: the great Aboriginal leader Charles Perkins, and Ann Curthoys, Jim Spigelman, Pat Healy, Darce Cassidy and Wendy Golding: these members of SAFA (Student Action For Aborigines) were instrumental in getting the Freedom Ride on the road. And in Walgett: the courageous Kamilaroi woman Pat Walford (famous for her “I’m black and I’m proud of it” speech), the racist RSL manager, and George Rose (an Aboriginal ex-serviceman who is barred from the RSL), the two-faced Anglican minister Reverend Dowe, and the infamous lady running the Walgett frock shop.

(Source: Kinetic Energy Theatre Company website)


  • Author's note: The story of The Freedom Ride is relevant to the following curriculum areas: History, Legal Studies, Drama, English, Aboriginal Studies, Human Rights & Social Justice.

Production Details

  • The play is performed in the round. (requirements: open space hall, gym or drama room)

    Directors: Graham Jones & Jepke Goudsmit

    A minimum of eight volunteers are instructed by our cast to take on small parts.

    Teacher’s notes with extensive background info are available.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Note: Suitable for High School students year 7-12
First known date: 2016
Last amended 19 Oct 2016 13:36:30