Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Tenancy Culture Studies: Redfern and Waterloo

The Sydney Morning Herald must also be celebrating the centenary of public housing in New South Wales - they've recently published a cracking piece in their "Sydney Magazine" that talks at length about that great part of Sydney that owes its character to a high concentration of public housing tenants - Redfern and Waterloo. It's by Stephanie Wood and it's called "There goes the neighbourhood".

Now, we're not going to try to retell this story. There's no need. Wood has done a superb job of uncovering the historical significance of public housing in southern Sydney, and tracking it's growth and evolution over the course of many years. She does this by talking to the very people that public housing is made up of - tenants, the people who live there.

Many of the people Wood has given a voice to have lived in the area for years. By introducing us to them, we are provided with new insights into world that is often maligned, and rarely understood. But we're also given a pretty raw account of some the tensions that are yet to play out in the back yard of Australia's biggest central business district.

We enjoyed it thoroughly, and we recommend it to you. You can also find it online.

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