Students at Murawina on Eveleigh Street, Redfern in 1980 (photograph courtesy National Archives of Australia - Series A6180, Item 22/4/80/16)

Location: Eveleigh Street, Redfern

Murawina, meaning ‘black woman’, was a childcare centre run by and for Aboriginal people. It began in 1972 as a breakfast program in Hollis Park for local Aboriginal children living in Redfern and Newtown, but soon expanded to become a child care service. By the late 1970s, Murawina occupied purpose-built accommodation on Eveleigh Street, and then moved to the newly refurbished Redfern Public School in 2003.

Murawina contributed significantly to the inner-city Aboriginal community since its inception by providing a link to the mainstream education system. To this end, Aboriginal kinship terms were used in place of formal titles for teachers, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture was integrated into learning programs. This reflected the philosophy of Murawina to instil Aboriginal children with pride in their heritage to enable them to deal with potential racism in wider society.

Further reading: Zoe Pollock, ‘Murawina’, Dictionary of Sydney, 2008,, viewed 24 September 2013