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Sydney Heritage Building to be Transformed into Indigenous Cultural Hub

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A 136-year-old building located in the heart of Redfern, an area synonymous with Indigenous activism around civil and land rights, has been purchased by the City of Sydney for $5.3 million with plans to become a local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural hub.

The 315sq m Redfern Post Office, at 119 Redfern Street, was sold by architecture firm DKO, who will be leasing the property back on a short-term lease until late 2019.

Colliers International selling agent Trent Gallagher, who brokered the deal, said commercial property has largely bucked the slowing trend evident in the residential market with solid growth and strong sales.

Related: NSW Pioneers Build-to-Rent in Redfern

The former Post Office was purchased for more than $5 million, doubling it's $2.6 million sale price when it sold in 2014.
The former Post Office was purchased for more than $5 million, doubling it's $2.6 million sale price when it sold in 2014.


The City’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander advisory panel assisted the City in the decision to purchase the building.

“Redfern has always been recognised nationwide as the epicentre of the Aboriginal Rights struggle,” Former co-chair of the City of Sydney’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Panel Millie Ingram said.

“The Aboriginal people need to always have a visible presence in Redfern.”

“A modern keeping place would serve this purpose.”

Related: Indigenous Urban Design ‘Not Just a Moral Choice but a Profitable One’

The cultural hub will be a centrepiece of the City’s Eora Journey, (Eora meaning ‘the people’) a long-term project that celebrates the living cultures of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in Sydney.
Eora Journey Art: Bara - Judy Watson.
The cultural hub will be a centrepiece of the City’s Eora Journey, (Eora meaning ‘the people’) a long-term project that celebrates the living cultures of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in Sydney. Art: Bara - Judy Watson.Supplied


Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the community had long advocated for a space to gather, share and practice the cultures of the First Peoples of Australia.

“We’ve been searching for an appropriate property for an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural space for some time and I’m pleased we’ve secured such an iconic landmark in Redfern,” Moore said.

Related: Sydney’s Metropolis of Three Cities Moves Ahead

Aunty Rhonda Dixon-Grovenor, Lord Mayor Clover Moore, Delilah Macgillivray and Aunty Millie Ingram outside the former Redfern Post Office.
Aunty Rhonda Dixon-Grovenor, Lord Mayor Clover Moore, Delilah Macgillivray and Aunty Millie Ingram outside the former Redfern Post Office.Supplied


The heritage-listed Redfern Post Office is a two-storey Victorian Italianate building with a four-storey corner clock tower which was recently renovated into commercial offices.

“This purchase is another exciting step in the Eora Journey, which has been a visionary plan to celebrate and see our living culture all across Sydney,” Co-chair of the City of Sydney’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Panel Steven Satour said.


Main image: Eora Journey includes seven major public art projects including ‘Welcome to Redfern’ by Reko Rennie and young Aboriginal artists in Redfern.

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Article originally posted at: https://theurbandeveloper.com/articles/iconic-redfern-heritage-building-indigenous-cultural-hub