Associate Professor Gary Foley
Dr Edwina Howell
Brief description Gary Foley (b 1950) Born in Grafton, northern NSW, of Gumbainggir descent.
He 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 draughts person. 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, Going Down, Buckeye & Pinto, Pandemonium, Dogs in Space, Flying Doctors and A Country Practice.
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 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 has completed a PhD in History at the Australian Centre at University of Melbourne. Gary is now a lecturer at Moondani Balluk Victoria University.
Project Organization Unit: Moondani Balluk, Victoria University