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Moree Champion 'Equality for all: Freedom Riders celebrate Aboriginal entry to Moree Spa Baths 35 years ago'

Date: 30 May 2000
Dimensions:
Overall: 425 x 295 x 2 mm, 120 g
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Classification:Ephemera
Object Name: Newspaper
Object No: 00033543
Place Manufactured:Moree

User Terms

    Description
    This newspaper article in the Moree Champion marks the 35th anniversary of the Moree pool protest.
    SignificanceThis newspaper is a an important record of the reconciliation event held in Moree which marked 35 years since the Freedom Ride for Aboriginal rights facilitated the first unmediated entry to the Moree Spa Baths by Aboriginal people. Over 400 people, both Aboriginal and non-indigenous gathered outside the Moree Town Hall to mark this event.
    HistoryMoree lies on the Mehi River, at the intersection of the Murray-Darling and Great Artesian basin. Moree bore was first sunk in 1895. Its salty artesian groundwater almost flooded the new town before it was contained to create the Moree Bore Baths. Since then the healing spa has lured many to 'take to the waters'. Some stayed on to make the town their home, while the local Kamilaroi were excluded from the Moree baths until they protested their right of access.

    In 1965 a 'Freedom Bus' carried about 30 Sydney University students on a 3,200km tour of NSW to survey race relations. Led by Charles Perkins and Jim Spigelman, the group won notoriety when Perkins led six Aboriginal children into the Moree Pool, which only admitted Aboriginal people within mixed school groups. The next day Aboriginal people were again barred from the pool. During a three hour demonstration, violent scuffles broke out involving police, students and bystanders. The local council eventually agreed to repeal its regulation and allow entry to Aboriginal people.

    In 2000, over 400 people, both Aboriginal and non-indigenous gathered outside the Moree Town Hall to mark this event. Speeches were delivered by some of the original Freedom Riders, including Charles Perkins, local civic leaders and Aboriginal men and women who as children, were among those allowed to enter the Moree Baths for the first time ever in 1965. The group then marched peacefully to the Moree Spa Baths were a 'Pool of Hands' was planted by local schoolchildren in the lawn of the Baths' forecourt.
    Additional Titles

    Primary title: MOREE CHAMPION

    Web title: Moree Champion 'Equality for all: Freedom Riders celebrate Aboriginal entry to Moree Spa Baths 35 years ago'

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