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Redfern – the untold story of 1970s Aboriginal activism and resurgence

Redfern is the untold story of Aboriginal self-determination in the 1970s. From the small suburb of Redfern in metropolitan Sydney, Aboriginal people came together to fight for control of their livelihoods - politically, culturally, socially and economically.

Redfern: Aboriginal Activism in the 1970s covers a dynamic and turbulent time. A period that became a blueprint for Indigenous activism and positive change for Indigenous Australians across the country.

Activist, academic and founder of the Aboriginal Legal Service, Professor Gary Foley saysIt’s an important and timely book. The issues that triggered the outburst of creative political dissent in Redfern in the 1970s are still with us today”.

Author Dr Johanna Perheentupa says the book paints a picture of the multifaceted face of activism and the demand for economic and social equality, justice, and self-determination.

“The 1970s saw the rise of a younger generation of passionate Aboriginal leaders and intellectuals, who understood and articulated what needed to be done. It was a period of significant change for Aboriginal people and for the nation.

Redfern: Aboriginal Activism in the 1970s author Dr Johanna Perheentupa

“Redfern became home for many Indigenous Australians in the 70s, and many people remain connected to this important place.”

CEO Craig Ritchie says AIATSIS is committed to providing a forum for sharing the stories and contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to our national story.

“Redfern was the epicentre for Aboriginal activism, where mob came together seeking recognition and equality in health, education and justice.

“Those of us who are doing anything to bring about change for our people today stand on the shoulders of these giants.”

Dr Perheentupa is an historian whose research fields include Indigenous politics and advocacy for social change. Her long-term and academic interest in Aboriginal Indigenous politics, underscore her drive to tell this story. She lectures in Indigenous Studies at UNSW, Sydney.

Redfern, is a release by Aboriginal Studies Press, AIATSIS’ publishing arm.

Purchase Redfern via the AIATSIS shop, international distributors or bookstores across Australia (RRP $39.99)

Redfern: Aboriginal activism in the 1970s


Last updated: 10 December 2020