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your local guide into the redfern that you know


Brooke Allender Monique Cutajar Sophie McMichael Lisa Miller


Brooke Allender Monique Cutajar Sophie McMichael Lisa Miller


Brooke Allender Monique Cutajar Sophie McMichael Lisa Miller


is your local guide, into the Redfern that you know. A suburb steriotyped by the media, Unfold opens up the real Redfern. Unfold is a quaterly, independant magazine that explores Redfern from the foundation which makes up our history, to famework created by the connection between our residents and the forms of the future of our built environment. As we embarked on the creation of our second issue of Unfold, we begin with a broad overview of the diverse history of Redfern. From the sandhills and marshlands to ever elevating suburb it is today. This issues feature article explores Redfern’s Andrew Birley as he immerses us into his life as an events organiser, which involves running the growers markets and raising awarness for the the AIDS Trust of Australia. In our final chapter, we look into Regent Street park, as we redesign the existing park to create a more user-friendly, tranquil environment. Unfold aims to reflect the true community based atmosphere of Redfern and connect you with the whats happening in the suburb. It is an exciting time to be a part of Redfern.



Written by Sophie McMichael


Back in the Day by Sophie McMichael


Today in the Now by Brook Allender

Redfern is one of the inner city areas of Sydney that has undergone significant changes from 1788 to now. The central factors of change have been influenced by the plight of the Aboriginal Gadigal community in Redfern and also the establishment of the Eveleigh Railway Workshops. The history of Redfern has shaped the community today into the vibrant and diverse suburb on the south edge of the CBD, Redfern history is retold in it’s community centers, along its walls and through the words and the face of its residence.


Community, Community, Community (107 Projects) By Lisa Miller


Changerfercation (Park Manager) By Monique Cutajar


Andrew Birley (Redfern Resident) By Monique Cutajar


Infographic By Lisa Miller

The land that on which Redfern sits today belongs traditionally to the Gadigal people. The local Aboriginal clan occupied the sites known today as Redfern, Erskinville, Surry Hills, Darlinghurst and Paddington for up to 40 000 years before European colonisation. The British arrived in January 1788 the effect on the aboriginal way of life was catastrophic. It soon became apparent to the settlers that the Eora people were not going to flee them, as Captain James cook predicted, but rather they stood their ground. The Aboriginals were eventually pushed out of Sydney town, with fear of being shot. With the rapidly increasing pollution of the tank stream by tanneries, they were forced to use water sources near Redfern.


Concept By Sophie McMichael


The Crossing By Brooke Allender




In 1789 a devastating smallpox plague swept through Sydney effecting a lot of Aboriginal people. Without immunity to the disease brought over by the British, the Aboriginals had no defense against to this virus and a large percentage of the Gadigal clan was wiped out. Reportedly as little as three ÂŹ-people from that clan survived. Following the plague, survivors from

surrounding clans joined together to survive, and to join the guerilla movement led by Pemulwuy. But slowly and surely the Aboriginals were pushed out of Sydney. The land that the block lies on was originally granted to Chippendale, who then sold the area to Solomon Levey. After Levey died his heirs sold the Land to William Hutchinson. The area was changed significantly by the creation of the rail-line in 1855, and the construction of Eveleigh Railway Workshops from 1875. Redfern was heavily subdivided and developed in order to provide housing for the workers at the workshops. First population boost for Redfern, with migration of large numbers of Aboriginal people from rural areas to Redfern and its surrounding suburbs with hope of employment. Largest employer of Redferns inhabitants was the Eveleigh Railway Workshops. The onset of Great Depression had a direct impact on Redfern. High unemployment levels coupled with discrimination saw shift of unemployed, many of whom were now homeless moving outwards to the La Perouse Aboriginal Community to set up temporary camps. Post WWII large population shift back into Redfern following move by Randwick Council following complaints about the makeshift camps. Aboriginals seeking refuge with their relatives many concentrated in and around the Redfern block. This was beginning of number protest meetings and rallies mainly due to civil rights, and discrimination of Aboriginal workers.

BACK IN THE DAY During the 1960’s Aboriginal population at Redfern estimated at over 12,000. Many were still employed in the local industries and discrimination was still highly prevalent. Those that were unemployed turned to alcohol and crime. The 1970’s were a key turning point for rise of Aboriginal morale in Redfern with the development of community controlled services. They included the Aboriginal Legal Service, Aboriginal Medical Service, Aboriginal Children’s Service and the Aboriginal Black Theatre House. The development of these provided a model for a move towards self – determination for many Aboriginal communities Nationwide. Despite this however over crowding and homelessness of Aboriginal people reached crisis levels. Police arrested and charged 15 Aboriginal people that were squatting in the empty dilapidated terraces houses on Louis St. They were released under the care of Fr.Ted Kennedy and set up shelter in the church Hall. However the number of people seeking shelter in the hall grew quickly and the shelter was consequently shut down by South Sydney Council, who claimed it was a health concern. IBK Construction who owned the Louis St terraces houses in collaboration of the Builders Labor Federation and Plumbers Union brought the terraces up to bylaw standard soon there was 45 Aboriginal people residing in 3 terrace houses in the Block

IBK Construction ready to begin redevelopment of the block required the inhabitants to once again move. However the Builders and Laborers Union placed a ban on any development by IBK in the area. The election of the Federal Labor Government in 1972 saw steps towards solving the housing problems of the Aboriginal families not only in Redfern but Nationwide. 1973 saw another step forward for the Aboriginal people in Redfern with the formation of the Aboriginal Housing Company (squatters in Block Terraces). It became the first housing collective in Australia. Their first major feat despite several obstacles from South Sydney Council and nonAboriginal residents was the purchasing of and restoration of 6 terraces on the block. This was only possible with the grant given by the Commonwealth Government to the AHC. The aim of AHC and its Housing Project was to “provide a communal living environment run by Aboriginal people”. As a result of this project the population of Redfern tripled between 1976-1981. 1975 saw a major backward step for the AHC’s project with the election of the Fraser coalition and subsequent termination of funding to the project. It saw the Block once again plunge into disrepair. With renewed support from the Keating Government in 1980’s it mean that now the AHC had acquired over half of the properties in the Block and by 1994 the AHC had full ownership of the Block. However the state living conditions had changed very little. 4

“The nostalgic flavours of this community have blossomed, deep with respect for what has gone on before.”

Written by Brooke Allender Eclectic, diverse and unfolding - few of an endless list of words to describe the ever evolving town, Redfern. To think it has come this far from simply sand hills and marshlands at the start of European settlement. Aboriginal australians, new immigrants from overseas, university students and young creatives make up the neighbourhood’s cosmopolitan community, who offer their knowledge and stories of Redfern’s history, but also their hopes for it’s bright future. This quirky colony create a sense of comfort and culture and truly give Redfern it’s cherry on top. It was not an easy journey for this town to recreate it’s exterior and interior, but it was an interesting one. The 2004 Redfern riots began on the 14th of February 2004, on Eveleigh Street, right outside Redfern station. Thomas Hickey, a teenager, was riding on his bike and allegedly was chased by a police vehicle which led to his impalement on a fence, these happenings started the infamous Redfern Riots. Police were blamed for Hickey’s death, fliers were distributed stating this, causing the police to close the Eveleigh street entrance to the railway station. Youths in the crowd became abundant and violent, throwing bricks

and bottles; this escalated into a riot. Further investigation proved that although the Police were following Hickey, they did not cause his death. This information created controversy within the aboriginal community. These events sparked fresh debate about the welfare of Australian Aborigines and the response of the police to those living in the Redfern area. In 2006, $570,000 was spent on 122 Street. At risk, dozens of Redfern shops were empty and, after hours, the steel shutters banged down. But this investment soon started to look like a smart move: the Eveleigh Farmers’ Market started at CarriageWorks, the Roll-Up Redfern campaign was launched to persuade shop owners to ditch the shutters, the last terrible houses on the Block were demolished, and Redfern Park got a $32-million makeover. In 2011, film producers moved in, turning the Block into Darlinghurst circa 1927 for scenes in Underbelly: Razor. “The Block” is in the immediate vicinity of Redfern Station and the scene of the 2004 Redfern riots. The Aboriginal Housing Company was set up as the first urban Aboriginal community housing


TODAY IN THE NOW provider, purchasing houses on The Block. This resulted in the area being very significant to the Aboriginal community. Much of the housing here was demolished with plans for redevelopment, but is still a meaningful are around which many people come together. Plan’s for it’s redevelopment were approved in 2009 and celebrated it’s 150th anniversary as a suburb. In 2012, the Australian television drama “Redfern Now” began screening on ABC1. This six part series takes place in the households on one street of Redfern and the stories of their inhabitants, who’s lives ultimately change by an insignificant incident. It tells powerful, contemporary stories about the indigenous australians in the suburb of Redfern. The project was created by indigenous directors, producers and actors and excelled with it’s ratings. It received a number of nominations for it’s success and therefore brought moreattention to the aboriginal inhabitants of Redfern and more consideration for their well being. From past to now present, huge changes have been made to the appearance and overall atmosphere of Redfern’s streets, parks and houses. Although


it is a city that is evolving everyday, preservation of timeless buildings is something Redfern prides itself on. Georgian architecture (the name given to the set of architectural styles current between 1720 - 1820) is an extremely rare find in the Southern Hemisphere. But, this city has managed to create a safe haven for said architectural art and work it within it’s contemporary society. in 2013 , a home containing remnants of Georgian architecture in Redfern, was sold for $2.58 million after being purchased in 1985 for $122, 000. This sale furthers the notion of Redfern’s ability to bring itself to the top as a community, where every aspect is valued differently but when put together, create this town’s new, outstanding reputation.

Written by Lisa Miller As an outsider to Redfern, I found myself starting my journey with a preconceived negative impression of the area. My thoughts were not alone in this generalisation as David Servi (director of Crown Street agent Spencer & Servi) said it’s not uncommon for clients to say, ‘they don’t want Redfern’. What surprised me was his response, ‘Well, you obviously haven’t been there then.’ From the ex-premier of NSW Kristina Keneally to your average person on the streets of Redfern there is one notion that is never missed when describing Redfern. Community. The word Community is vast in itself, referring to a group of people with common characteristics. In reality community is something that really has to be seen or experienced. This is where the 107 projects came in. The 107 projects is a not for profit organization which has established an accessible space located at 107 Redfern to be used for creative practices. Founding member Chris Hancock talks to us about how 107 Projects have brought the vastly differing people of Redfern under one roof.

Today, Redfern is home to more than 12,000 individuals who are ever elevating the suburb and all of it’s qualities. As one of the oldest areas in Sydney, with a tender mix of terrace houses and crumbling walls, it could have been seen as run down and shabby for years, but the nostalgic flavours of this community have blossomed, deep with respect for what has gone on before.

The 107 Projects were founded a decade ago by seven key individuals. As one of these Chris Hancock aided the development of these projects, which took up until two years 6

ago to reach their current state and move into their current residence at 107 Redfern, St Redfern. So what makes the 107 projects so unique? Chris Hancock speaks passionately as he tells us that it’s ‘not just your white wall gallery,’ and as we look inside we discover exactly what he means, as we struggled define the type of art that filled the room. ‘The 107 projects is about creating a multidisciplinary space, encouraging the cross-pollution of art.’ The 107 projects are not only about displaying the work of external artist but it is also the residents of several artists. Chris describes how this means that it is not always about the ‘final product’ but about the ‘creative process’. The 107 Projects are not limited to one particular art or creative practice. Events they host range from music to writing to fine art. Chris does not speak of many defining feature of clients of 107 besides that there is ‘lots of experimental’ works. As he tells us that ‘it really depends on the event…we’ve had people as young as in their twenties to people in their sixties’. Personally Chris tells us how being involved in the 107 Projects have enable him ‘to get to know (his) neighbors better,’ as he himself is a resident of Redfern. His journey as a founding member allowed him to observe the projects as they are ‘slowly but surly drawing in more of the Redfern community,’ as they continue to grow. So before you judge the medias impression of Redfern take a look at the 107 Projects and discover the strong connection that creates the community of Redfern. 8


Written by Monique Cutajar You may be wondering; who is Dave Brodie and what does he do for Redfern. You will be happy to know his job is to insure that the parks of Sydney are safe, functional and provide an opportunity for recreation. He feels that parks around Sydney are people’s backyards. Seeing as Redfern is part of an urban city, the parks in the area connect the community and are used on a regular basis. He ensures that the people of Redfern get the best quality parks and have a good open space to enjoy. He manages contractors and staff in the maintenance of parks. Recently Dave has been redeveloping the major parks in Redfern. Five years ago he completed the major upgrade of Redfern oval and park, since then he has upgraded and improved a number of smaller suburban parks he calls ‘pop-up’ parks. These parks are within 200-300 metres of resident’s homes. Dave looks into what is best suited for you and your community. He makes all the parks have a good design to attract residents and upgrades the parks according to the changing demographic. His team designs the park in such a way that if needing to add more seating they will do so, or if more lighting is needed for night time it is easy to construct. If there is an increase in children in the area they will build a playground in the park. If a park happens to be 5-10 years old Dave and his team will look into upgrading the park to benefit the community. Prices in Redfern are increasing because many people want to live closer to the city; this puts a lot of pressure to upgrade the parks to suit everyone. But don’t be alarmed,


“You can see a change come through; it is part of the changerfication process.”

he enjoys his job and feels the community have one thing in common: Pride. During the interview with Dave we asked him to describe Redfern, he said “They are very passionate about the suburb. A lot of people have been there for a long time. It has a very strong identity.” Although a lot of residents are connected to the suburb he feels that the area is always changing. Even though this is true he tries to make everyone happy with the park areas, ‘tries’ being the word. As there is a sense of passion in Redfern many of the locals feel like they are being pushed out and this is an issue Dave attempts to overcome. He is always working on ways to connect the community and make everyone feel welcomed and all his projects do work towards bringing the community together.

Written by Monique Cutajar

Although brief the interview gave us insight within the Redfern community and the surrounding park areas. Even though the Redfern area is always changing the community is still proud of their suburb and Dave Brodie tries to redevelop Parks to suit the growing need of Redfern’s residents.

Andrew Birley has a lively sense of humor and plays his part in the Sydney community. He also managed Good Living Growers Markets and Sydney Wine and Food Fair for his company, Birley Events. During my interview with Andrew I found he was relaxed about most things even though he has a busy schedule. As a Redfern resident he gave me incite about the community and how the locals use the park spaces in the area.


“One creates their own community no matter where they are.” Q: We understand your part of the growers markets, how did you involved in this?



AB: I started the Good Living Growers Market at Pyrmont Bay Park back in 1999 when I was the coordinator of Good Food Month which was presented by the Sydney Morning Herald. My then company, Birley Events, managed and coordinated the markets.


Q: What was the atmosphere like when you were at the growers markets? AB: The atmosphere was wonderful. It had a very strong sense of like minded people gathering to present and purchase the best of produce grown in and around Sydney. For example: there was an air of excitement when the first white peach of the season hit the markets or when the small leaf lettuce farmer brought to market a type of unique leaf that had never been seen before in Sydney.



Q: How long have you been working/living in Redfern? AB: About 7-8 years Q: How would you describe the community of Redfern?


AB: Diverse Q: We noticed that Redfern is very community based, have you noticed this?

Q: You were also part of the Sydney wine and food fair, what did that involve? AB: Yes I have... I do believe however that one creates their own community no AB: Like the Growers Market, I was the matter where they are. Redfern is made up coordinator and manager of the Sydney of many different and diverse communities Food & Wine Fair for the AIDS Trust all attempting to live together in harmony of Australia. with varying degrees of success. It’s pretty tribal. Q: What initially encouraged you to move into the Redfern area?

Q: Do you use the parks in the area often?

AB: I had a warehouse in Chippendale that I worked from for 11 years so I was already kind of familiar with the area. When it was time to leave Chippendale, I saw an ad online showcasing a space that suited my requirements. I wanted to consolidate by living and working from the one space. This space just happened to be in Redfern.

AB: I’m a cyclist so I ride through the parks quite often. I also walk around alot.




Q: What do you do in your free time in the area? AB: A lot of my free time is sent at home enjoying my own company...or I swim... read...cook...hook up friends. 12




66% DO NOT










CONCEPT The space we had been given to redesign was substantial and had much potential for many improvements. As a group, we decided we wanted the park to reflect Redfern’s community and overall atmosphere which is made up of quirky, retro shops, recycled surfaces and industrial features. After researching the park’s surroundings, we found the street was filled with cafes and bars so with that information in mind, we wanted to create a relaxed area where people were able to take a break from busy city life and enjoy a touch of serenity.

After much deliberation and research on the area including interviewing significant members of the Redfern community and delving into the history of Redfern, we have come to the conclusion that the park on the corner of Regent St and Redfern St and needed to be redesigned. The current state of the park is uninviting, life less and dirty. The facilities of the park are limited only having 2 benches and a long brick wall to sit on. With near buy take away eatery’s near buy seating is important. The trees in the park attract unwanted bird life that creates mess and disinviting park experience. There is no sun shelter in the current park, which is a big problem for many users, as the park gets quite hot. Lighting is also a concern of the public and would like to see an improvement in for safety reasons. The main road is very close by with a lot of heavy traffic. Patrons of the park said they would like to see an improvement to the noise problem to create a more peaceful relaxing park. These issues that the patrons of the park have had have all been resolved in our final concept.






BIBLIOGRAPHY 2014. 107 Projects Inc. - Home. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 3 Jan 2014]. 2014. . [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 05 January 2014].

We decided to add partial shelter to the space, just so the option was there. The shelter would only be on one side of the park, triangular shaped and created with uneven planks of different woods. On the reverse of the shelter (side facing the the Bower sculpture) would feature a vertical garden. Under said shelter - and also throughout the whole park space - would be randomly arranged tables, chairs and benches of all shapes and industrial materials to reflect the retro stores and recycled looking shop fronts., December 5th, 2013, written by ABC network, Wednesday, 27 March 2013, written by City of Sydney, 2013, written by airbnb. Redfern Community Centre - City of Sydney. 2014. Redfern Community Centre City of Sydney. [ONLINE] Available at: facilities/community-centres/redfern-community-centre. [Accessed 05 January 2014].

Lighting would be essential to the new design for the safety and comfort of any person walking by. We have chosen to install three different types of lighting, those being free standing lamp posts randomly arranged, ground lights along the shop side of the park and three industrial styled lamps hanging from the wooden shelter.

The Block, Redfern - Around Town - Time Out Sydney. 2014. The Block, Redfern - Around Town - Time Out Sydney. [ONLINE] Available at: com/sydney/aroundtown/features/2218/the-block-redfern-28. [Accessed 05 January 2014].

As a whole we wanted to keep the grass and the simple pathway between the two park sections, but the tiles would be replaced with recycled, crazy paving (to again reflect the raw, quirky environment). We also chose to add a hedge along the roadside to create a somewhat barrier from the traffic and also to add more greenery. The changes, we believe, would be extremely beneficial and further our notion of wanting to create a tranquil are for people to eat, socialise or rest. Each aspect has a constructive purpose that has answered the needs and wants of the community of Redfern and we hope to be a part of this ever unfolding suburb. 20