G'day folks,

Welcome to some background notes on a man who became one of Australia's most infamous activists.

 Gary Foley spent most of his youth in Nambucca Heads. Expelled from school at the age of 15, Foley came to Sydney as a 17-year-old apprentice draughtsperson. Since then he has been at the centre of major political activities including the 1971 Springbok tour demonstrations, the Tent Embassy in Canberra in 1972, the Commonwealth Games protest in 1982, and more recently, the protests during the 1988 bicentennial celebrations.

He was also involved in the formation of Redfern's Aboriginal Legal Service (in Sydney) and the Aboriginal Medical Service in Melbourne. In 1974 Foley was part of an Aboriginal delegation that toured China and in 1978 he was with a group that took films on black Australia to the Cannes Film festival and then to Germany and other European countries.

He returned to England and Europe a year later and set up the first Aboriginal Information Centre in London. Foley has been a director of the Aboriginal Health Service (1981) and the Director of the Aboriginal Arts Board (1983-86) and the Aboriginal Medical Service Redfern (1988). 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.

His acting career began in 1972 with the revue Basically Black. Since then he has appeared in Backroads (1976) , Going Down (1983), Buckeye & Pinto (1979, Pandemonium (1988), Dogs in Space (1978). He also appeared in TV series Flying Doctors (1990) and 5 episodes of A Country Practice. (1989). More recently he has featured in documentary films such as "Fair Play" (2010) (episode 4 of Have you Heard From Johannesburg Stories From the Global Anti-Apartheid Movement 1948-1990), The Redfern Story 2014, Persons of Interest (2013) TV series on ASIO, the film The Foundation (2013)

Late in life Foley became a student at University of Melbourne where he studied history, cultural studies and computer science. He completed his BA with majors in History and Cultural Studies in 2000, and gained first class Honours in History at at the end of 2002. 

Between 2001 and April 2005 he was also the Senior Curator for Southeastern Australia at Museum Victoria. Between 2005 and 2008 he was a lecturer / tutor in the Education Faculty of University of Melbourne, and in 2008 took up a position as Senior Lecturer in History and Politics at Moondani Balluk centre at Victoria University in western Melbourne.

In 2013 he 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.

Clancy's comment: Go, Gary! I met this man on two occasions when we were marching though the streets of Melbourne with thousands of others. One thing I admired about Gary was his willingness to stand up and shout about the big issues, and he has achieved much for a boy who was expelled from school at 15. 
Love ya work, Gary!

I'm ...

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