Three Proud People

In Sydney’s inner-west of Macdonaldtown, the ‘Three Proud People’ mural depicts one of the most iconic images of the 20th century. African-American athletes, Tommie Smith and John Carlos raise a fist-glove salute at the 1968 México Olympics, as Australian silver medallist Peter Norman stands beside them wearing a badge proclaiming human rights.

Less well known about this moment is that Peter Norman’s act of selflessness resulted in him never being picked to run for his country again.

Adorning the wall of a house facing Macdonaldtown Train Station, the mural has been on display for years to daily train commuters, but a concrete soundproof barrier now obscures that view. Peter Norman’s nephew Matt Norman, who directed the documentary Salute about his uncle’s life, said the mural is the only recognition Peter has in Australia, and a transparent barrier should instead be used.