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Gary Foley: Black Power, Then and Now

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Maritime Union of Australia

365-375 Sussex Street

#Unit 3

Sydney, NSW 2000

Australia

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Gary Foley is a Gumbaynggirr man born in Grafton in 1950. He is an activist, writer, actor and historian. As an early exponent of ‘black power’, Gary was one of the founders of the Black Power Movement in Redfern in between 1968 and 1970. He was involved in the establishment of the first Aboriginal Legal and Medical Services in 1971 and later that year had a high profile involvement in the protests against the South African Springbok tour. In 1972 he was a foundation member of the National Black Theatre in Sydney. In 1978 he took a collection of Aboriginal films to the Cannes Film Festival which led to him setting up an Aboriginal Information Centre in London in 1980. He was a consultant to the Royal Commission into Black Deaths in Custody and is today a history professor at Victoria University. He remains active in Indigenous politics.

Gary will reflect on the impact of the 1960s-70s wave of Indigenous militancy and the lessons it holds for Indigenous people and sympathetic white activists today.

Larissa Behrendt will be our MC for the night.

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During 1968 - at the height of the Vietnam War - every continent was marked by youth radicalisation and student revolts, often reverberating among the working population and Indigenous peoples. It gave rise to new political demands centred around grassroots democracy. The women's liberation movement began to emerge as did a widespread concern with our living environment. It was a time of global revolution that continued into the 1970s.

In one sense it may have failed, but in another it changed the world.

On the 50th anniversary of the spectacular student uprising and the three-week general strike in France, this four part series of forums will pose the question of what can we learn from these formative times.

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Maritime Union of Australia

365-375 Sussex Street

#Unit 3

Sydney, NSW 2000

Australia

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