Artspace Gallery, Surry Hills

Author: Paul Irish During the 1970s, the Australian art world and the broader public became aware of the contemporary practice of painting and other artistic expressions of traditional Aboriginal culture, particularly among the desert artists of central Australia. Drawing on Read More

Harry Williams and Chicka Dixon

Foundation for Aboriginal Affairs

The Foundation for Aboriginal Affairs was established in December 1964 to provide assistance to Aboriginal people living in Sydney. Although it was originally intended as a non-political and non-religious organisation, it soon became an important stepping stone in the push Read More

National Centre of Indigenous Excellence


Redfern Public School was established in 1879. It educated generations of Aboriginal children living in Redfern and surrounding suburbs during the 20th century. Most students knew the school as George Street Public. In 2006, the buildings and grounds of the Read More

Aboriginal Dance Theatre Redfern logo

Aboriginal Dance Theatre Redfern

Aboriginal Dance Theatre Redfern (ADTR) was founded in 1979, occupying part of the old Black Theatre building before moving to Renwick Street. It offered accredited courses in Aboriginal dance and theatre skills, and provided a dance outreach program for children Read More



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 Read More

Aboriginal Medical Service in 1974

Aboriginal Medical Service

The Aboriginal Medical Service (AMS) was set up in July 1971 to provide free medical support to Aboriginal people living in Sydney. It was the first Aboriginal community-run medical service in Australia, and had a holistic approach to health care Read More

Redfern’s Aboriginal Legal Service

Aboriginal Legal Service

The Aboriginal Legal Service was established in December 1970 to provide free legal assistance to Aboriginal people living in Sydney. The service was intended to counteract disadvantage and discrimination faced by Aboriginal people, especially those unable to afford legal advice. Read More


St David’s Hall

The Australian Aboriginal Progressive Association (AAPA) was an all-Aboriginal political organisation formed in Sydney in 1924 by Fred Maynard. He had been involved in the Coloured Progressive Association, a group active in Sydney between 1903 and 1908, and was profoundly Read More

Merv ‘Boomanulla’ Williams

Redfern All Blacks

The dynamic and successful Redfern All Blacks rugby league team formed officially in 1944, but may have begun informally a decade earlier. The team attracted talented players from around NSW including Eric ‘Nugget’ Mumbler, Babs Vincent and Merv ‘Boomanulla’ Williams. Read More

Bangarra Dance Theatre

Bangarra Dance Theatre

Bangarra Dance Theatre is a dance company formed in 1989 by staff and students of National Aboriginal Islander Skills Development Association (NAISDA), including Carole Johnson who had been involved with the Aboriginal Islander Dance Theatre since the 1970s. Bangarra Dance Read More

Gadigal Information Service

When Radio Redfern stopped broadcasting in the early 1990s, the gap was quickly filled. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander owned and operated organisation Gadigal Information Service was founded in 1993. It broadcasts a full-time radio station, Koori Radio (93.7FM 2LND), Read More

Radio Redfern on Cope Street in 198

Radio Redfern

Maureen Watson and her son Tiga Bayles laid the foundations for Radio Redfern in 1981, when they started broadcasting for 10 minutes each week on community radio station 2SER 107.3 FM. When Radio Skid Row (2RSR 88.9 FM) was allocated Read More

Aboriginal Islander Dance Theatre

Aboriginal Islander Dance Theatre

The Aboriginal Islander Dance Theatre was established in 1975 as a full-time training program to encourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to take up professional dance. It launched the careers of many dancers and performers, and raised the profile Read More

Boomalli 1987


Boomalli is an artist-run cooperative which was formed in 1987 by a group of 10 urban Aboriginal artists working across a range of media from painting and photography to sculpture and print making. The word boomalli means ‘to strike’ or Read More

Here Comes the Nigger

Black Theatre

Black Theatre was an Aboriginal-run theatre company established in 1972 in response to the emerging land rights movement. It started on Regent Street in Redfern but later moved to Cope Street, next door to Radio Redfern. Black Theatre offered workshops Read More

Students at Tranby Aboriginal College


Tranby Aboriginal College is a community-based education cooperative run by and for Aboriginal people. Located in the inner-city suburb of Glebe, Tranby has provided an independent learning environment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people since it was set up Read More

Aboriginal Housing Company The Block Redfern

Aboriginal Housing Company

There has always been an Aboriginal presence in Redfern because it is centrally located, housing was once relatively cheap, and it was close to industry and jobs in South Sydney. During the 1930s Depression, many extended families moved to the Read More

New members of the Aborigines Welfare Board in 1964

Aborigines Welfare Board

The Chief Secretary’s Building on Macquarie Street was the meeting place for the now notorious Aborigines Welfare Board until the Board’s abolition in 1969. The organisation was formed in 1883 under its original name, the Board for the Protection of Read More