Twenty three years ago the Tribune’s entire archive of 60,000 negatives was donated to the State Library of NSW, however only recently the library discovered that it held more than 100 unpublished photos documenting the historic 1965 Freedom Ride.


Local residents look on as students protest outside Moree Town Hall and Council Chambers, February 1965.

Opening this Saturday opening 5 September 2015, for the first time The State Library of NSW will present this extraordinary collection of images which document the milestone anti-discrimination event that played out in country NSW in February 1965.


School children at Moree Aboriginal Reserve, February 1965.

Journalist and photographer Noel Hazzard, working at the time for the Tribune (Communist Party of Australia newspaper), spent a week in Moree and Walgett capturing Aboriginal people in the missions, reserves and camps, interviewing Charlie Perkins and Sydney University students, and the unfolding protests at Moree public pool and the Walgett RSL.

Freedom Ride ’65 co-curator Ronald Briggs, a Gamilaroi man from Moree, NSW, said Aboriginal people were not allowed to use the pool for “health reasons” – as shown in council documents at the time.
“This exclusion from the pool became the defining symbol of the fight to end discrimination. In Walgett, it was the RSL as Aboriginal veterans were prevented from entering,” said Ronald.

Ronald was “blown away” when he discovered a photo of his father Ronald McGrady as a 14 year-old, who was among the first Aboriginal people in Moree to jump in the pool while locals angrily defended the race-based ban.

For more details go to the State Library of NSW website.