Charles Perkins


Early life

Charles Perkins was born in 1935 in the South Australian town of Alice Springs, to an Arrente mother and a Kalkadoon father. He was born into a big family, with 11 brothers and sisters. Although he was not part of the famed "Stolen Generation", he was removed from his home at Alice Springs Telegraph Station Aboriginal Reserve when he was 10, though not forcibly, and moved to St. Francis House, a school established by Father Percy Smith in Adelaide to educate young Aboriginal boys. Thus, he spent most of his childhood away from his parents and family. Charles Perkins had an unhappy childhood, and suffered from racial discrimination from his peers, and was treated as a inferior citizen or "second-class" by his peers and alienated socially. He was initially trained to be a fitter and turner at St.Francis House, but later discovered his talents for soccer and became a soccer player for the English professional club Everton in 1957, and then on his return to Australia with the Adelaide Croatian and the Sydney Pan-Hellenic Clubs.

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