The Guardian 9 February, 2005

Freedom Ride 2005

This year is the 40th anniversary of the 1965 Freedom Ride led by Charles Perkins. At the time a busload of Sydney University students went on a journey through NSW bringing discrimination against Indigenous people to public attention.

To mark the occasion, a busload of Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth are coming together to retrace the journey and explore just how far Australia has come.

ReconciliACTION, the youth arm of the NSW Reconciliation Council is behind Freedom Ride 2005.

Freedom Ride 2005 will leave from Sydney University on Saturday, February 12 and travel through Wellington, Dubbo, Gulargambone, Walgett, Moree, Boggabilla, Inverell, Lismore, Bowraville, Kempsey, Taree, Newcastle and end in Redfern on Saturday, February 26.

There has been a strong community response to the project and a number of community events are being planned.

"The enormous response to the Freedom Ride shows that reconciliation at the grass roots level is not only going strong, but growing all the time. This project has highlighted the goodwill that exists in the Australian community towards reconciliation, and the ongoing commitment that exists to the achievement of social justice for Aboriginal people, even after year of attempts to undermine the process by the Federal Australian leadership", said Ms Sylvie Ellsmore co-convenor of ReconciliACTION and the Executive Officer of the NSW Reconciliation Council.

Angie Adbilla, a young Indigenous director, will collaborate with Oliver Lawrance in recording the journey for a documentary.

The Freedom Ride 2005 has the support of Rachel Perkins, daughter of the late Charles Perkins, as well as original Freedom Riders some of whom will be on hand to send them off at Manning House (Sydney University) at 11.00 on February 12.

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