The Rainbow Beach Man is the fascinating story of Les Ridgeway, Worimi Elder, and his struggle against adversity and racial discrimination, chronicling tragedies and triumphs.
The eldest of a family of eight, Les Ridgeway grew up in straightened circumstances on reserves, leaving the Aboriginal School at 14 and becoming a farm labourer.
In 1961 his life changed direction when he became Assistant Manager of the remote Murrin Bridge Aboriginal Station, one of the few ever Indigenous mission managers to be employed. From there he gained other positions as manager on stations and travelled by car and caravan all over New South Wales.
His career highlight came when he happened to meet the late Charles Perkins who created a special position for Mr Ridgeway with the then newly established Commonwealth Department of Aboriginal Affairs.
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