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REDFERN 50 Years Ago
14 Jul 2014
Published To

Redfern and urban place filled with friendly people and lots of Indigenous culture. Fashion shops, supermarkets and alien embassies are places to go to. But go back 50 years ago and you’d find yourself in a completely different environment.

Back then, you’d find an empty street and the odd gunman or two. A place where the roads were made from dirt and reaching year 4 at school was amazing. People like the iceman and the toffee apple man used to come and deliver their products.

Some activities that kids back then would be playing football or cricket in the middle of the street without shoes on. They also went hiking with the scouts, where everyone cooked meals in turns. Girls mostly went swimming and played netball, whereas the boys played football because it was free.

Children had to be very independent at a younger age and they had to leave school to start work around the age of 14. They never went to uni because many of the families couldn’t afford it. You also started school at a very young age, sometimes at the age of 4. Also, if your mother was sick you were allowed to take your little brother and sister to school with you.

You could find gunmen and gangsters in your street, but they never came near the local people. They came to funerals where people couldn’t afford it and gave them money, but no one ever questioned where they got it from a long as it didn’t involve their families. All the local people would turn a blind eye as long as their families weren’t affected by what they did. This shows how much Redfern has changed in 50 years.



By Kieren Nguyen

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