Unpublished Freedom Ride photos on show

When the Tribune’s entire archive of 60,000 negatives was donated to the State Library of NSW 23 years ago, it was not known at the time that it held over 100 unpublished photos documenting the 1965 Freedom Ride!

The State Library of NSW will present together for the first time this extraordinary collection of images which document how the milestone anti-discrimination event played out in country NSW, in a free exhibition opening 5 September 2015.

Noel Hazzard, a journalist and photographer working for the Tribune (Communist Party of Australia newspaper) spent one week in Moree and Walgett capturing Aboriginal people in the missions, reserves and camps, interviewing Charlie Perkins and Sydney University students, and the unfolding protests at Moree public pool and the Walgett RSL.

Freedom Ride ’65 co-curator Ronald Briggs, a Gamilaroi man [from Moree, NSW], said Aboriginal people were excluded from using the pool for “health reasons” – as indicated in council papers at the time.

“This exclusion from the pool became the defining symbol of the fight to end discrimination. In Walgett, it was the RSL as Aboriginal veterans were prevented from entering,” said Ronald.

During his research Ronald was “blown away” to discover a photo of his father Ronald McGrady as a 14 year-old, who was among the first Aboriginal people in Moree to jump in the pool while locals angrily defended the race-based ban.

Exhibition co-curators Ronald Briggs & Louise Denoon are available for interviews.

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Shortlists announced for 2015 NSW Premier's History Awards

The Premier of New South Wales, the Hon Mike Baird MP today [Friday 14 August 2015] announced the shortlist for the 2015 NSW Premier’s History Awards.

Eight judges considered 180 entries across the six prize categories.

The Premier commented: “these Awards are a celebration of the diversity and excellence in historical practice in Australia and the importance of historians in marking and understanding our nation’s past.” 

“Celebrating the vital work of historians and the role of history in our society is fundamental to the core values of the State Library of NSW. We are proud to administer the NSW Premier’s History Awards and we are delighted to once again host the award announcement, which will also launch NSW History Week” said Alex Byrne, NSW State Librarian & Chief Executive.

The winners of the 2015 Awards will be announced at the State Library of NSW on Friday 4 September 2015.

See the full media release attached.

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World is changing but public libraries here to stay, according to futures report

The latest futures report has confirmed “loud and clear” that public libraries are here to stay and will continue to adapt to whatever future we face, the State Library of NSW announced today.

According to NSW State Librarian & Chief Executive Alex Byrne: “The State Library led an innovative and influential project in 2009 called the Bookends Scenarios, which provided a stimulus to thinking about the future of public libraries across this state and beyond.

“The latest Building on the Bookends Scenarios report tracked how we have been travelling towards the scenarios developed in 2009.  Interestingly, no single scenario has become dominant, but some of the trends have developed faster than was expected five years ago.”

Four scenarios were developed by Australian futurists at the Neville Freeman Agency in collaboration with public librarians and the users of public libraries. They were shaped around the impact of information and communication technologies and how the public values libraries.

The latest findings show that some trends have emerged quicker than expected:

- Internet usage in NSW public libraries doubled between 2009/10 and 2013/14 to 7.8 million sessions, largely due to free WiFi offered by libraries where people can use their own devices
- re-emphasising the “local” and the value of libraries as public spaces.

See the full media release attached.

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