The struggle being fought in Redfern right now goes much deeper than locals vs. yuppies. This fight is about the situation of Indigenous people in Australia and their right to their land.
Deemed the most unliveable part of Sydney in the 1960s, Redfern was an industrial precinct that became the site of forced assimilation for Aboriginal people being moved into the city. As the community grew, it became a home and a bastion for great social and political work of the 60s and 70s. When the Whitlam government gave the community the deeds to “The Block” it became the first and largest urban land rights victory. By 1973 the community had established numerous services in Redfern, including the Aboriginal legal service, medical service, housing company, children’s services and the Black Theatre.
The importance of Redfern to our city’s history cannot be denied. It is a visible manifestation of Black history and a concrete symbol of the Black presence in Australia. In a country where our Black history and culture is so disregarded, fighting for areas like Redfern is not a fight against change but a battle against extinction.