Paul Kelly has debuted the second song from his 19th album ‘Nature’ ‘A Bastard Like Me’ is about Charles Perkins.
“It’s based on the life of Charles Perkins, a man of Arrernte, Kalkadoon and Irish heritage who was at the forefront of the struggle for justice for his people. The title of the song is taken from his autobiography and the film clip features footage from his rich and storied life,” Paul said in a statement.
Aboriginal activist Charles Perkins was born in Alice Springs in 1936.
Charles Perkins was a key member of the Freedom Ride of 1965. The Freedom Ride was a bus tour through New South Wales towns protesting discrimination against Aboriginal people. Perkins was inspired to create the ride based in the US Civil Rights Freedom Ride of 1961. Earlier in 1965 he had been banned from entering the swimming pool at Moree because Aboriginals were not permitted into the public space.
Perkins took a key role in the 1967 referendum to include Aboriginal people to be counted in the census. He managed the Foundation for Aboriginal Affairs.
Charles began his career in public service as a Senior Research Officer for the Office of Aboriginal Affairs. In 1981 he was appointed Permanent Secretary of the Department of Aboriginal Affairs. In 1993 he became commissioner for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission in the Northern Territory.
In 1986, Charles Perkins was awarded the Officer of the Order of Australia by Queen Elizabeth II.
Charles Perkins died in 2000 at the age of 64. Just before his death, Charles was awarded an honorary doctorate of law by the University of Sydney.
Paul Kelly ‘Nature’ will be released on 12 October 2018.