In January, 1972, Aboriginal activists established a ‘Tent Embassy’ on the lawns of Parliament House in Canberra, Australia. The Embassy, established in response to the McMahon Government’s refusal to recognise Aboriginal land rights, expanded over the following weeks to become a lightning rod for activists, gathering widespread support both locally and internationally.
This project aims to develop an independent website to preserve the history of the 1972 Aboriginal Tent Embassy, one of the most important and crucial episodes of Aboriginal struggle in the 20th century.
The main focus of the website will be a 5-episode audio history produced by Aamer Rahman and Dr Gary Foley. The website will also serve as an archive for photos, video interviews and documentary footage.
Dr Gary Foley is an Associate Professor at Victoria University in Melbourne and is an authority on Aboriginal political history. He has been at the centre of major political events including the 1971 Springbok tour demonstrations, the Tent Embassy in Canberra in 1972, the Commonwealth Games protest in 1982, and protests during the 1988 bicentennial celebrations.
Dr Foley was also involved in the formation of Redfern’s Aboriginal Legal Service (in Sydney) and the Aboriginal Medical Service in Melbourne. He has been a senior lecturer at Swinburne College in Melbourne, consultant to the Royal Commission into Black Deaths in Custody (1988) and a board member of the Aboriginal Legal Service. He has also served on the national executive of the National Coalition of Aboriginal Organisations.
In 2013 Dr Foley completed a PhD in History at the University of Melbourne, for which he was in 2014 awarded the University of Melbourne’s prestigious Chancellor’s Award for Excellence.