Our Place: Stories of Redfern & Waterloo - Biographies

Our Place - Stories of Redfern & Waterloo - Cathi Joseph Biography

Our Place - Stories of Redfern & Waterloo - Cathi Joseph  Biography


Cathi’s family lived in her grandmother’s terrace house in Great Buckingham Street: “There were six kids and there was my mother and grandmother, so there were eight of us in the house.” Cathi describes her mother as independently minded: a feminist and a trade unionist, who worked at various jobs over six days of the week, to support the family. Her grandmother stayed at home and looked after the children and the domestic chores: “She wanted us to be brought up in a much more Lebanese way. After my parents separated, we had nothing to do with the Lebanese community.” Redfern Park, Prince Alfred Park and the Coronation Playground, were favourite places: “I really loved ‘Coro’, … we’d also go there on weekends, when it was closed, but we’d climb the fence and we’d go and play basketball and play on the swings”. She also went to the Coronation Playground every afternoon after school, participating in the structured activities and enjoying the library that was there once a week: “It was great. I loved ‘Coro’; it was home away from home”. Cathi also remembers a local, admirably frank, lesbian woman, Sunday outings to the beach and the Eight Hour Day march, which used to end at Redfern Park.