• 1965 Freedom Rides for equality between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australia (AAP)Source: AAP
In 1965 Charles Perkins led a group of students from Sydney University on journey known as the Freedom Rides.
27 Jun 2015 - 11:00 AM  UPDATED 27 Jun 2015 - 11:00 AM

Awaken is filmed on location at Sydney University on the 50th anniversary of this event to ask what freedom means, during a time where Indigenous Australia is facing forced community closures and 500 million dollars of cuts to government services.

The panel 

Mick Gooda 
Mick is a descendent of the Gangulu people of central Queensland and is the current Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner. His term in this position commenced in February 2010.

Mick has a long experience in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs, having worked remote, rural and urban environments throughout Australia for over 30 years. 


Sam Jeffries
Sam is a Murrawarri man from Brewarrina in Western NSW and is also connected to the Wiradjeri peoples from the Hilston area.

He has over three decades’ experience in Aboriginal Affairs, with long-term involvement in the development of responsible leadership, community development and community and regional governance models.


Kirstie Parker
Kirstie has more than 25 years’ experience in mainstream and Indigenous journalism, communications and management of Indigenous organisations.

She’s a sought-after speaker and commentator on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues. 


Anne Dennis
Anne is a Councilor of the, New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council, North West Region. She is a Gamilaraay woman who has lived most of her life in Walgett.

She has a strong background in education, having trained as a teacher, and was heavily involved with implementing state Aboriginal education policies over the three past decades.


Marion Scrymgour
Marion was first Indigenous woman to be elected to the Northern Territory Parliament serving as the member for Arafura from 2001 to 2012.

She was the Deputy Chief Minister of the Northern Territory from November 2007 to February 2009 and was the highest-ranked indigenous woman in government in Australia's history at that time.


Professor Shane Houston
Professor Shane Houston has worked in Aboriginal Affairs for more than 35 years holding many roles at local, state, national levels. 

Shane has worked intensely in the community sector over a number of decades including as a CEO of an Aboriginal Medical Service and National Coordinator of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Organisation.