These photographs were taken over 11 years in and around high density housing in Redfern and Waterloo, Sydney.
The area contains one of the largest public housing developments in Australia, situated near the centre of one of the world’s most expensive cites. There is very little affordable housing in a town where the percentage of public housing is also relatively low. The location is of particular historical significance to the aboriginal community of Sydney and beyond. In 2018 the State Government is planning to demolish the high density towers and other dwellings to make way for a train station and other new developments (including, the government says, replacement public housing). Many in the community, including the large number of elderly residents, however, are concerned about their future.
I’ve spent a long time in these buildings and with this project partly because I get wrapped up in hearing peoples’ stories: escapes from Eastern Bloc countries during the Cold War; journeys through addiction, then prison, then recovery (or relapse); involuntary relocation, toddlers in tow over Christmas, destination unknown. Such stories can be found in many places but not often so densely packed within one city block or one neighbourhood.