The Block – Redfern Aboriginal Tent Embassy established

Gerry Georgatos The Stringer 26 May 2014

The Stringer is at The Block, as Redfern Aboriginal Tent Embassy was established this morning.

According to one of the founding members of the Aboriginal Housing Company, Jenny Munro, the Embassy is "reclaiming The Block for our people". Several of the original founders of the Aboriginal Housing Company and many former residents of The Block feel betrayed by what they said was "a war of attrition" by the Aboriginal Housing Company to remove all the residents, the last one having been removed in 2011.

The Block is considered prime real estate, and the Aboriginal Housing Company (AHC) has made public a proposal to develop the site, a site which many consider part of the heart and soul of the Aboriginal struggle for their rights.

Redfern was once the home to thousands of First Nation Peoples, today it is home to less than 400, with no-one left at the precinct that is 'The Block' despite the Aboriginal Housing Company's Charter that the precinct was to be for low-income earners, to be the hub of an Aboriginal experience.

The real estate prices are soaring in Redfern, with $1200 rents for little terrace homes. But the Housing Company's Charter is committed to the vulnerable. We just spoke to CEO of the Aboriginal Housing Company, Mr Mick Mundine, who said the Charter is being lived up to and that 62 houses will be dedicated to "Aboriginal families."

A confrontation took place between Mr Mundine and Ms Munro this morning at The Block. Ms Munro said to him the Aboriginal Housing Company had betrayed the former residents.

Ms Munro said The Block is Aboriginal land, Mr Mundine said it is private land and that the Aboriginal Housing Company owns it.

More to come.

AUDIO FILES - 26 May 2014

Radio interview with Jenny Munro at Redfern Aboriginal Tent Embassy
Radio Interview Confrontation at The Block. Mick Mundine tells Jenny Munro that The Block, despite the Charter of the Aboriginal Housing Company, is not Aboriginal Land
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Redfern's famous street is Sydney's most valuable vacant lot
Now the Block is the most valuable vacant lot in Sydney. Only two buildings still stand on the Block - Tony Mundine's gym and his brother Mick's (AHC) office.