- Redfern, New South Wales
Infobox Australian Place | type = suburb
name = Redfern
city = Sydney
caption = Redfern Post Office
City of Sydney
postcode = 2016
pop = 10,979 (2001 census)
area = 1.2
propval = [http://www.domain.com.au/public/SuburbProfile.aspx?searchTerm=Redfern $629,500] (2007)
stategov = Marrickville, Heffron
fedgov = Sydney
near-nw = Chippendale
near-n = Central
near-ne = Surry Hills
near-w = Darlington
near-e = Moore Park
near-sw = Eveleigh
near-s = Alexandria
near-se = Waterloo
dist1 = 3
dir1 = south
Redfern is an inner-city suburb of
Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Redfern is located 3 kilometres south of the Sydney central business districtand is part of the local government area of the City of Sydney. Strawberry Hills is a locality on the border with Surry Hills.
Redfern is subject to extensive redevelopment plans by the state government, to increase the population and reduce the concentration of poverty in the suburb and neighbouring Waterloo (see
The main shopping strip is located on Redfern Street, east of Redfern railway station. There are also commercial developments nearby, along Regent Street and surrounding streets. The Redfern skyline is dominated by two office towers located between Regent Street and Gibbons Street, beside Redfern railway station.
Redfern railway station, located on the western edge of the suburb is a major station on the
CityRailnetwork. Redfern is the first station south from Central Sydney terminus on the edge of the city. Redfern station is the closest station to the main campus of the University of Sydneyat Camperdown and Darlington. A near-constant stream of commuters, mostly students, flows from Redfern station along the south side of Lawson Street towards the university in the morning, and back towards the station in a largely hourly rhythm in the afternoon.
The suburb is named after surgeon
William Redfern, who was granted convert|100|acre|km2 of land in this area in 1817 by Lachlan Macquarie. He built a country house on his property surrounded by flower and kitchen gardens. His neighbours were Captain Cleveland, an officer of the 73rd regiment, who built Cleveland House and John Baptist, who ran a nursery and seed business. Sydney's original railway terminus was built in Cleveland Paddocks and extended from Cleveland Street to Devonshire Street and west to Chippendale. The station's name was chosen to honour William Redfern. At that time, the present Redfern station was known as Eveleigh. When Central station was built further north on the site of the Devonshire Street cemetery, Eveleigh station became Redfern and Eveleigh was retained for the name of the railway workshops, south of the station. The remains of Cleveland Paddocks became Prince Alfred Park.
Redfern has been characterised by migrant populations that have lived in the area. In the late 1800s many of the businessmen in the area were from
Syriasuch as George Dan 1890, Stanton and Aziz Melick in 1888 and Anthony and Simon Coorey in the 1890s. As waves of immigrants arrived in Australia, many made Redfern their first home.
The notorious Redfern Mail Exchange was built in 1965, after 300 people were evicted from their homes on the 2.15 hectare site. It became the scene of many industrial disputes when the automatic mail-sorting machinery which was supposed to sort efficiently, actually destroyed many letters. It became known as the Redfern Mangler.
2004 Redfern riotsbegan with a rioton 14 February 2004, at the end of Eveleigh Street outside Redfern station, sparked by the death of Thomas 'TJ' Hickey. The teenager, riding on his bicycle, was allegedly being chased by a police vehicle, which led to his impalement on a fence. Members of his family were then reported to have started grieving for TJ around Eveleigh Street with a crowd gathering commiserating with the family. Fliers were distributed blaming police for TJ's death. The police closed the Eveleigh Street entrance to the railway station, but youths in the crowd became violent, throwing bricks and bottles; this escalated into a riot. A memorial service was held for TJ Hickey in Redfern on 19 February, and in Walgett, New South Waleson 22 February. A subsequent inquest found that although the police were following Hickey, they had not caused the accident, a verdict that has caused controversy in Redfern's Aboriginal community. The riots have sparked fresh debate into the welfare of Australian Aborigines and the response of the police to those living in the Redfern area.
Redfern has many fine examples of Victorian terraced housing similar to other inner suburbs, such as Surry Hills and Paddington. Also, like some other inner-city suburbs, some parts of Redfern have been gentrified, whilst other areas still project an image of "mean streets", with some
Churches and Schools
St Vincent de Paul Catholic Church is on Regent Street. St George Antioch Orthodox Church is on the corner of Walker Street and Cooper Street. The Greek Orthodox Church in Cleveland Street is called the Cathedral of the Annunciation of Our Lady and the St Andrews Greek Orthodox Theological College sits beside it.
Redfern Park is in between Elizabeth Street, Chalmers Street and Redfern Street.
The population of the suburb spans a broad spectrum of socioeconomic characteristics. This may be partly due to the geography of the suburb, which is long, narrow, and centrally located. Eastern Redfern has become increasingly gentrified, with many medium and high density developments replacing low density and industrial developments.
According to the 2006 census, Redfern has a population of 11,483 people, with indigenous people making up 2.4% of the population. 37.9% of the population was born overseas. English was primarily spoken at home by 55.9% of the population, with the most important other languages being Chinese languages (5.5%), Russian (2.4%), Greek (2.4%) and Arabic (1.7%). 25.0% of the population identified with no religion/atheism, higher than the national average. Of the remainder, 19.9% were Catholic, 10.9% Anglican, 4.4% Eastern Orthodox, and 3.9% Buddhist. Furthermore, 41.6% of the population lived in public housing. [Census 2001 AUS|id=SSC13001|name=Redfern (State Suburb)|accessdate=2007-06-30|quick=on]
'The Block' is an area in the immediate vicinity of Redfern station bounded by Eveleigh, Caroline, Louis and Vine Streets. It is the first urban land in Australia that was purchased back by and for the Aboriginal community. The Aboriginal Housing Company (AHC) was set up as the first urban Aboriginal community housing provider, using grant money to purchase the houses on the Block. As a result the area is important to the Aboriginal community, and remains so despite the fact that infiltration of the drug trade by the wider community increased their vulnerability, more so than the non-Aboriginal community who had stronger resources to withstand its impact.
Eveleigh Street, which is part of 'The Block', is well-known for its community. In 2004 much of the housing here was demolished with plans for redevelopment, but it is still an area around which many people congregate. The AHC's plans for redevelopment are known as the
*"The Book of Sydney Suburbs", Compiled by Frances Pollen, Angus & Robertson Publishers, 1990, Published in Australia ISBN 0-207-14495-8
* [http://redfernoralhistory.org/ Redfern Oral History]
* [http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/AboutSydney/CityLocalities/RedfernClevelandStreetWaterloo.asp Council of the City of Sydney - Redfern region]
* [http://www.redfernwaterloo.nsw.gov.au/ Redfern-Waterloo Authority]
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