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Charles Perkins

He was a great guy!

Caitlin Mulveney

on 7 June 2013

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Transcript of Charles Perkins

The Man Who Made Where We Are Today Charles Perkins Charles Perkins was the man who gave Indigenous Australians rights. His life began on 16th June, 1936 in Alice Springs, and ended in Sydney on 19th October 2000 from renal failure (also known as kidney failure). How has Charles Perkins made changes in the rights of individuals in our democracy? So, what's the real question? What has he done? Well, lets think. What I Would Have Said At Charles Perkins Funeral Eulogy What Are The Similarities Between The Two? How is Democracy Like Walking A Tight Rope? Biography Childhood Family Charles, also known as Charlie, was one of 11 brothers and sisters, and was a son of an Arrernte woman (an Indigenous Australian from a group in Alice Springs, Northern Territory) and a Kalkadoon man (an Indigenous Australian from a group from Mount Isa, Queensland).
His wife's name is Eileen Perkins (her maiden name Munchenberg), he has two beautiful daughters named Rachel and Hetti, and one handsome son named Adam.
Charlie is also cousins with the famous John Moriarty, a well known artist and soccer player. Education His education began at St Mary’s Church School Alice Springs, where he was removed at the age of ten and put into St Francis College for Aboriginal boys in Adelaide. His education their was unhappy. He suffered being hated by others because of his race, he was excluded and isolated, socially and generally and his peers treated him as second class. This school was established by a man named Fr Percy Smith. His senior years were spent at the Metropolitan Business College in Caringbah, and went to university at the University of Sydney where he graduated in 1965. Jobs as a Child From 1952-1957 he worked as an apprentice fitter and turner, modifying machine parts, for the British Tube Mills company in Adelaide. At this time, he was still at St Francis College in Adelaide. While he was at university, he worked part-time for the City of South Sydney, cleaning public toilets. Later Life The Freedom Ride Once Charlie graduated, he was one of the key members of The Freedom Ride, a bus tour that went through New South Wales by activists protesting about discrimination against Aboriginals in small town Australia.
They were trying to achieve a political goal, which was to stop terrible living, education and health conditions to the Aboriginal Population. It targeted towns such as Walgett, Moree and Kempsey.
The Freedom Ride also tried to publicize acts of unashamed discrimination towards Indigenous Australians. They demonstrated this by several acts, one being on the 20Th February 1965.
Perkins and the crew tried to enter a public swimming pool at Moree where the local council had prevented Aboriginals from swimming for 40 years since the pool was opened. In response to this action, the party faced physical opponents, a couple hundred local white Australians, including the community leaders, chucked tomatoes and eggs at them.
This was broadcast across Australia, and under pressure from the public opinion, the council eventually removed the ban of Aboriginal swimmers. The Freedom Ride moved on, but were forced back by several cars to Moree to find that the council had put the law back in place. The Riders protested and, in the end, got their way.
Charlie was inspired to do this because of the Freedom Rides USA in 1961. What Charles Perkins Achieved Referendum, 1967 Charles Perkins has amazed so many people. Giving up to play for Manchester United to get a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Sydney, be the first Indigenous Australian to graduate from a University, then continuing to be part of the Freedom Ride and the Referendum. As well as that, he was part of the federal government, the head of the Department of Aboriginal Affairs. He changed laws! Perkins held the world's longest record of surviving a kidney transplant, surviving for 28 years. Charlie is a very lucky, kind, compassionate man that without him, no Indigenous Australian would be where they are today, they would probably be somewhere worse. But he also changed how we look at Aboriginals. They are no longer thought of as second class. No longer thought of as unimportant. No longer thought of as different because of their race. We accept them, as we should have always done. Kumantjayi was a great man. As a child, he went through many struggles because of his race and we accept his hard times. Instead of playing for Manchester United, he put down the offer to get a degree at the University of Sydney. With an education, people listened to him, his great thoughts for his people and their rights. He changed a law to help not himself, but those around him. He took courage when times were tough and showed people to be strong. Kumantjayi showed humility, and kept a world record to top it off. He was a great man, and for that we pay our respects to his and his peoples rightful land on which we stand. A great man, who had a great life, and the way he died he did not deserve. Kumantjayi deserved better. I am sure I speak for everyone when I say, thank you, Kumantjayi, for your achievements, to place us where we are, and where the future will lead for those Indigenous people around us. Kumantjayi, I know you lived your life to the fullest, and I hope I can do the same. It's hard to say goodbye, Kumantjayi, but it's time. Positive Contributions Contributions Perkins made a number of contributions to our society. He has helped Aboriginals get benefits from the government and helped white people understand their only difference is the colour of their skin and their culture. He has changed laws and he has protested for the sake of his own kind. He has changed our democratic traditions as he has now included Aboriginals in being counted for seating in Parliment and now their votes count as do everyone elses. Charles has also allowed the government to make specific laws to help Indigenous Australians. Positive or Negative What If...? What if Charles Perkins had chosen a different path. He gave up the offer to play for Manchester United to help his people. But what if he had chosen to play for Manchester United? What if he thought 'Well, I don't like school so why should I get an education'? What if he hadn't been selfless in his decision? We would think of things differently. The Aboriginal people would still be thought of as the lowest of the low. They would still be second class. They would still have lower wages than someone else with the same job. They would still not get any laws to give them benefits as everyone else has and their votes would still not count in parliment. It would be a completely different society. Bibliography. The Books And Websites I Used 1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Perkins_(Aboriginal_activist) (May 19 2013)

2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aranda_language (May 26 2013)

3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalkadoon_people (May 12 2013)

4. http://au.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20110817030052AAWXYal (May 19 2013)

5. http://www.skwirk.com.au/p-c_s-14_u-117_t-319_c-1079/charles-perkins-freedom-rides/nsw/charles-perkins-freedom-rides/power-people-and-politics-in-the-post-war-period/people-and-power (May 12 2013)

6. https://www.google.com.au/search?hl=en&site=imghp&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1920&bih=955&q=Charles+perkins+as+a+child&oq=Charles+perkins+as+a+child&gs_l=img.3...1411.8035.0.8195. (May 26 2013) Charles Perkins A Wonder Watch this clip to get an insight on Charlies life! The Freedom Ride partly led to the 1967 Referendum, in which gave two benefits to Indigenous Australians.
The first one was removing a phrase in a law. Although this may sound small, it actually made a big difference. In Section 51 of the Commonwealth Constitution it stated that the federal government had power to make laws respecting ' the peoples of any race, other than the Aboriginal race in any State, for whom it is deemed necessary to make special laws '. They removed the phrase 'other than the Aboriginal race in any State', giving the Commonwealth government power to make laws specifically to benefit Aboriginals. This was an important step in increasing the governments' ability to provide welfare, empowerment and access to justice for Indigenous Australians.
The second benefit had to do with the documenting of the Aboriginal population. This benefit waS good for Aboriginals, but also good for the Queensland and Western Australian governments. The Referendum removed the law in the Constitution that stated when calculating the population in each state and terrotory for the purpose of allocating seats in parliment for each person for Commonwealth grants, the Aboriginal population was not counted . This law had a historical origin for giving Queensland and Western Australia a big disadvantage, This law prevented these states from using the large Aboriginal populations that they had from getting extra seats and extra funds from the Commonwealth. The Removal of this law made significant symbolic power by doing away official distinctions between Aboriginals and the non-indigenous population. The contributions Charlie made were positive in my eyes. Others thought, by doing the Freedom Ride, they were just causing riff raff where they shouldn't have, but I think the way they tried to prove their point that Aboriginals should get rights to was brilliant.
The Referendum was also positive as it did nothing to harm anyone else, but instead allowed the government to help those who needed it most. This event also showed them as true citizens of their state or territory.
He alsogave a benefit to white people. Charles showed our race that we shouldn't judge someone by the way they look, but by the way they act. Our country is very multicultural today, and if we couldn't except Indigenous Australians, how would we be able to cope with the other cultures?
Looking at all of it, I've decided all of his contributions made a positive outcome, not a negative. Democracy is like walking a tightrope as they are both extremely difficult. They take some time and effort to complete, but are both very much possible.When walking a tightrope, you must have a lot of balance. To walk a tightrope you must be focused, have ability to change your ways of walking to help yourself be balanced and help keep the crowd happy.
In the same way, in democracy, you have to balance out what will happen and how it will effect others to keep everything at the same level. You must change your ways to help keep yourself and everyone else around you happy, comfortable and under control.
They are both similar, as they both take a lot of patience and time, with people and progress, as well as they both must have balance, focus and the ability to change yourself for the sake of others. Public Service In 1959, Charles Perkins began his career as a public servant, as the Senior Research Officer in the Office of Aboriginal Affairs. In 1973, as a public servant, he was suspended as Charlie alleged improper behavior, calling Liberal- the Country Coalition government in Western Australia 'racist and redneck'. In 1981, Perkins was appointed Permanent Secretary of the Department of Aboriginal Affairs. He was the first Aboriginal to become a permanent head of a federal government department. Charlie served as Chairman of the Aboriginal Development Commission from 1981 to 1984. Throughout his career, Charles was a sharp critic of the Australian Government's policies for indigenous affairs. He was famous for his fiery comments.

PM Bob Hawke once stated of Perkins that he "sometimes found it difficult to observe the constraints usually imposed on permanent heads of departments because he had a burning passion for advancing the interests of his people." Charlie, until 1988, served as Permanent Secretary of the Department of Aboriginal Affairs.

In 1987, Charles Perkins was awarded an Order of Australia. Why Perkins left his position in 1988 was because of a clash with a government minister over a financial mismanagement, which Charlie was pressed with the charges. This event followed to an investigation, which eventually cleared Perkins of his charges. Although he did not return to a government position, Charlie continued to speak out on Aboriginal issues.

In 1989, Charles became Chair of the Arrernte Council in Central Australia, in 1993 he was elected commissioner for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission in an area in central Northern Territory, and in 1994, Perkins was elected Deputy Chair person of ATSIC. Charlie began playing soccer in 1950 for an Adelaide team named Port Thistle. in 1951, he was selected to play for South Australia in the under 18 representative team. He then went on to play for a number of teams in Adelaide.

In 1957 Charles was invited to trial with the English first division team, Liverpool FC. Instead, he ended up trialling and training with Liverpool's city rival, Everton FC. While at Everton Charlie had physical comparison, the Everton reserve grade manager after being called a "kangaroo Bastard."

After this incident, he moved form Liverpool to Wigan where he worked as a coal miner next in the Mosley Common Colliery, next to Great Britain's rugby league player, Terry O'Grady. Perkins played two seasons with the leading English amateur team, Bishop Auckland F.C. from 1957 to 1959.

In mid-1959, Charles decided to return to Australia after trialling with Manchester United and offered a spot on the team, which he declined. On returning to Australia Perkins was appointed captain/coach of Adelaide Croatia. At Croatia he played alongside remarkable Aboriginal figures Gordon Briscoe and John Moriarty, Charlies cousin.

In 1961, when Perkins moved to Sydney to study at university, he played with Pan-Hellenic, later known as Sydney Olympic FC, in the New South Wales State League team. He became the captain/coach of this team as well! Later, Charles played for Bankstown and retired from this career in 1965.

Later on, he served as the president of the former National Soccer League team in Canberra City. He was appointed vice-president for the Australian Soccer Federation in 1987, and was chairman of the Australian Indoor Soccer Federation (later known as the Australian Futsal Federation) for ten years until his death in Sydney, 2000. Football Career (4:21 min)
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