Sydney Morning Herald, 28 April 1965

The Response

The students’ demonstration triggered intense hostility among many of the white people in Walgett. Phillip Hall, with his friends, learnt about the local graziers’ plans to target the bus. They decided to organise a convoy of cars to follow the students safely out of town that night. Earlier the students had been told they were not welcome to stay another night at the Anglican Church Hall. On Moree Road the bus was followed by a truck, which pulled next to the bus and after several attempts drove it off the road. Soon the bus was surrounded by the convoy of cars organised by Phillip Hall to ensure that the students were safe.  The students returned to Walgett to report the incident at the police station where a local Aboriginal woman, Pat Walford, observing the white townspeople in Walgett hurling abuse on the students, gave a powerful speech. “It hurts you white people in Walgett to see the whites from Sydney up here and do that to you, doesn’t it. Trouble is it is hurting to see other whites fighting for the Blacks.”