Rachael Perkins begins her career as an award winning film maker. In the next two decades she directs ground breaking works such as ‘Radiance’ and ‘Bran Nue Day’.

  • Rachel Perkins

The three Ella brothers Glen, Mark and Gary growing up in Sydney's La Perouse and attending Matraville High School had become among some of the best known rugby players. Their sister Marcia Ella represents NSW and Australia in netball.

  • Greg, Garry and Mark Ella

The Redfern Community Employment Program is established.

Wirringa Baiya Aboriginal Womens Legal Centre established as an Australian Government initiative. It is a state wide service for Aboriginal women and children with a focus on domestic violence, sexual assault, child sexual assault, and other issues of violence. Wirringabaiya.org.au


The urban geographer Kay Anderson reports that the dominant non-English language in Redfern is Bandjalang. Two thirds of the rate-payers are women and a significant minority are partnered to Tongan, Fijian or Torres Strait Islander men. Anderson describes Redfern as a ‘node of interconnected geographies of relating’ and not just a poor accommodation area. Nor is it a ‘depthless nomadic chaos’. (Anderson, Reflection, p. 205)


The name of the University of Sydney Aboriginal Education Centre is changed to the Koori Centre to better reflect its purposes and community association. Many Koories, Goories (North Coast) and Murries (Western NSW) take on study for Aboriginal education Assistants and later some advance to Bachelor of Education (Aboriginal).

Mudgingal Aboriginal Women’s Resource Centre is incorporated from South Sydney Women’s Centre. It is operated by women including young mothers, elders, educators, family support workers, academics etc. The organisation is committed to the education of Indigenous people to combat family violence and to support families in the local area. Dixie Link Gordon is co-ordinator. (V51, ‘Turn your conversations into reality’)

  • Dixi Link Gordon

Prime Minister Paul Keating delivers a speech in Redfern Park including the words, ‘We took the children away'.

Kay Anderson describes the Block as containing a number of vandalised houses, no more than shells. Alcohol and other substance abuse are more visible than in other districts as is the legacy of unemployment, boredom, truancy and disaffection among youths. Graffiti is abundant, many of the cars parking on the rough, narrow streets are defaced and many of the tenants, especially children, appear to bear symptoms of crippling poverty, inadequate nutrition, and crowded living conditions. With little money from rent coming in, the houses are left without maintenance continuing the rapid deterioration of the housing stock. The AHC is unable to keep up with repairs. (Pitts p. 3/40)


Brian Syron passes away. (19 November 1934 – 14 October 1993). He is known as a human rights advocate, teacher, actor, writer, stage director and Australia's first Indigenous feature film director.

Gadigal Information Service is established in Redfern to provide a community based media, arts and information service for the Indigenous community.

  • Radio Gadigal

Billy McPherson, actor and musician arrives in Sydney to act in Gunjies, a play by Julie Janson at Belvoir St Theatre. Lillian Crombie, Pamela Young, Lisa Kinchela, Lawrence Clifford, David Numbajarra and Kevin Smith are actors who perform in many Aboriginal themed plays. 'Dead Heart' by Nicholas Parsons in 1994 is one such production by Belvoir St Theatre in its program of Aboriginal theatre. (V22, ‘I’ve been living in Redfern for 16 years’)


The Outreach Office for Probation and Parole is set up on the Block in Redfern. An Aboriginal Probation and Parole Officer is employed in consultation with the community.

  • Eveleigh Street sign, Redfern

Billy McPherson lives in Redfern and Waterloo and works with young boxers and writes plays. (V22, ‘I’ve been living in Redfern for sixteen years’)

The Koori Centre leaves the Faculty of Education and becomes a mainstream University initiative. Its Director, Janet Mooney heads up the predominantly Indigenous academic staff.


Mick Mundine, the AHC Executive Officer, says ‘a lot of people here are starting to call Eveleigh Street, ‘Evil Street’ because of the drug taking and pushing.

  • Mick Mundine
  • Mum Shirl


Rhoda Roberts becomes producer of media and theatre. She goes on to create the 1997 Festival of the Dreaming.

Mary-Lou Buck wins court case at the Supreme Court against Alan Jones for defamation on 2UE radio. Mary-Lou is a well known Indigenous educator who placed a Native Title Claim for land rights on behalf of her Dunghatti nation.


The Walking Together Aboriginal Mens Program is developed because of reluctance of Aboriginal clients to attend mainstream justice programs. The program operates in an environment that promotes safety without judgment and prejudice. It covers Redfern, Newtown, Waterloo.

A scholarship is made available to Indigenous students enrolled in a UTS faculty approved exchange program, or international studies degree. It is named in honour of Dr Bob Morgan, the former Director of Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning, University of Technology, Sydney, 1987-99.

  • Bob Morgan, Chubby Hall and Cindy Berwick


At UTS, Bill Ardler becomes Program Director for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Programs. Course Coordinator is Sue Knights.


Sallie Saunders and Karen Vaughan co-coordinate of the UTS Master of Arts in Indigenous Social Policy. A Bachelor of Arts in Adult Education and Community Management course commences in the Faculty of Business as a joint initiative with the Faculty of Education.