Controversial Conversation: Freedom not Frustration

3 March, 2015

The 1965 Freedom Ride, a bus tour of University of Sydney students led by Charles Perkins, shone a spotlight on the parlous state of Australia's race relations at that time and is now recognised as one of Australia's most significant civil rights events.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of this landmark action, the University of Sydney has supported a number of Freedom Ride commemoration events, including a recreation of part of the original bus ride. Another of these events will be a panel discussion on Friday 20 March 2015.

The Controversial Conversation: Freedom not Frustration will engage Aboriginal leaders, thinkers and social justice campaigners to explore Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander realities. The panel will reflect on the things achieved, the roadblocks that still exist, and the possibilities for the future.


  • Mr Mick Gooda, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner
  • Dr Marion Scrymgour, Director of Wurli-Wurlinjang Aboriginal Health Service
  • Professor Shane Houston, DVC Indigenous Strategy & Services, University of Sydney
  • Mr Sam Jeffries, Chair of the Murdi Paaki Regional Assembly
  • Ms Kirstie Parker, Co-Chair of the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples
  • Ms Anne Dennis Councillor, New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council, North West Region
  • Ms Catherine Liddle (moderator) NITV News reporter

If you have a controversial question for the panel, please let us know! Submit your question to by 5pm Wednesday 18 March 2015.

For regular updates about our activities, please follow us on our Facebook page and share using the hashtag #freedomride50.