Bicentenary protest coverage by Radio Redfern – Chris Kirkbright
During the 1988 bicentennial year, the Radio Redfern program played a pivotal role in informing and educating the public about First Nations responses to 200 years of colonisation. These recordings capture 17 hours of the Radio Redfern broadcast on Radio Skid Row (2RSR 88.9FM) during bicentenary protests on 26 January.
Radio Redfern was the main source of information for people wanting to join the protests. The Sydney march attracted more than 40,000 people and was the largest protest in the city since the Vietnam moratorium. The broadcast included interviews and music from First Nations artists.
In this clip, we hear from Chris Kirkbright, Registrar of the NSW Aboriginal Land Rights Act. He talks to the philosophy of the protests, and why the arrival of white people in Australia meant hurt, suffering, disease and genocide for the Aboriginal people, rather than celebration; Aboriginal people would instead be celebrating the survival of their people on 26 January 1988.
Maureen Watson and her son, Tiga Bayles began broadcasting on 2SER in 1981 to bring local radio into the Redfern community. They subsequently moved to Radio Skid Row (2RSR) in 1984, where they set up the Radio Redfern program, producing 10 hours of programming a week. Operating out of a terrace house on Cope Street in Redfern, it expanded to 40 hours of programming per week until its closure in 1990.