Our Place: Redfern & Waterloo Interviews

Our Place - Redfern - Cathi Joseph b. 1950

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. 

Caveat: This video was shot on a Sony Hi 8 video recorder. It was not until 2010 that we could get the analogue tapes digitised. Despite careful storage in the intervening period there has been some deterioration in quality. While we have retained the original .mov files from the original digitization in the SRA Archive, by necessity uploaded here are .mp4 files. The video is raw and unedited, a primary source document recording the occassion.