The Redfern Waterloo area is Gadigal land. Although Gadigal land, Redfern Waterloo has also become an important place for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Since the 1930s, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have come, remained and lived around the Redfern Waterloo area. In the mid 1970s, over 30,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were living in the then South Sydney local government area (now part of the City of Sydney).
Many were from the Stolen Generation looking for family, community and a place of belonging, whilst others were looking for employment and a greater quality of life. The Redfern Waterloo area is also the birthplace of the Aboriginal civil rights movement, where many actions for self-determination took place.
The NSW Government’s proposed redevelopment of the Waterloo Estate — now known as Waterloo South, Waterloo Central and Waterloo North precincts — has no commitment to affordable housing for the Aboriginal community that has long called this area home. Backed by local MPs and with the support of the City of Sydney council, the Redfern Waterloo Alliance of Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations and Allies launched an affordable housing campaign on the 21st of September 2020.
The Alliance want a minimum of 10 percent of all proposed housing committed to Aboriginal affordable housing in each redevelopment site in the whole Redfern Waterloo area. They want this minimum of 10 percent to be run by a community housing provider that is either Aboriginal owned and managed or, if not, working in partnership with an Aboriginal community-controlled organisation. They also want to ensure that there are agreed upon targets for Aboriginal employment in the construction and provision of ongoing services in all government redevelopments in the Redfern Waterloo area.
The Alliance is calling on the NSW Government to make a commitment of walking with Australia’s First Peoples, by meeting their asks and ensuring that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have a place on Gadigal land in Redfern Waterloo, in Sydney and in the future of Australia.
How can you help?
Contact your local member of the NSW Parliament and let them know that housing is a basic right and that you want action on making it affordable for Australia’s First Peoples. Then go to the campaign website and sign the petition and follow the Alliance on Facebook.
Please show your support for a commitment to Aboriginal affordable housing in Redfern Waterloo by standing against the continued displacement of Australia’s First Peoples.