On February 1967 a group of student from the University of Sydney had been inspired by the Freedom ride that occurred in Washington Dc and decided to have one themselves, Charles Perkins was the leader of this group (SAFA). The bus tour went to a variety of locations throughout the western and coastal New South Wales towns; Walgettes, Gulargambone, Kemsey, Bowraville and Moree. These students wanted to raise awareness of the condition, which the Indigenous community lived in; they drew attention to the state of their heath, housing and education. In doing this they hoped to diminish the prejudiced carriers, which existed between the whites and indigenous residents, wishing to encourage and support Aboriginal people to abstain discrimination. Throughout time the Freedom ride had impacted the Australian society.
The long-term impacts were far much greater than the achievements made short term. The freedom ride helped raise awareness towards the discrimination in which was directed towards the indigenous community, causing social barriers that existed between both races. Due to the freedom ride it led up to a successful referendum in Australian history with 90.77 residents voting “yes” enabling Aboriginals to be formally recognised as Australian citizens and to be in the national census and improving the services available to indigenous. These impacts were the cause the significance the event.
Before the national referendum was changed Aboriginal people were not counted in the Commonwealth “In reckoning the numbers of the people of the Commonwealth, or of a State or other part of the Commonwealth, aboriginal natives shall not be counted. (Section 127 Constitutions, Pre-1967). As stated in the constitution Aboriginal people were debarred from the national census and were not counted as part of the society. Many of the states had different rights regarding the Aboriginal population. They could not access services like social security and could did not have access to a education. The vote focused on both section 51, and 127 of the constitution, which discriminated against Aboriginals. On May 26th 1967 a vote to develop the services available to Aboriginals Australians was held. The policy was only slightly altered after the referendum, and this led a lot of disappointment in the indigenous. However, the referendum did draw attention to the living conditions of the Aboriginal community and allowed more funding for states with large indigenous population.
The freedom rides are extremely significant to the civil rights movement as they provided a real-life example of many of the struggles that the indigenous community had to go through, and the many ways they were not receiving equal rights in majority of the situations they came across. This inspired many to immediately want to take part in insuring there are more civil rights a lot of the people whom were from the rural south were inspired to act against their infringement. They forced their federal law to cooperate with the local law to safeguard civil rights.