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1970’s

1974, Sydney- Elsie: Australia’s First Women’s Refuge

Australia’s first domestic violence shelter, dubbed ‘Elsie’, was set up in squatted properties in Glebe in 1974. The following article by Mandy Sayers, which appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald, on April 12 2014 discusses the women and children it has supported over 40 years and how it came to be set up. 40 years … Continue reading »

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1975, Canberra- Squatters take over politician’s disused investment property

On April 3rd 1975 a dozen squatters took over an empty property in Braddon belonging to Liberal MLA Ray Saunders. As the news articles below demonstrate the politician called in police to eject them within a matter of days, but not before they’d brought the public’s attention to the growing number of evictions occuring in … Continue reading »

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1970s, Sydney: Rocking The Foundations

Pat Fiske’s excellent 1985 documentary Rocking The Foundations tells the story of the NSW Builder’s Labourers Federation during the 1970s. Run as a genuinely democratic organisation seeking workers’ control over the direction and outcomes of their labour, the NSW BLF formed alliances with squatters, environmentalists, feminists, Indigenous groups and others before being stamped out by … Continue reading »

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1970s-1980s, Sydney: Becoming extra-legal, squatting inside and beyond the law.

Gavin Sullivan’s 1999 MacQuarie University thesis examines how squatters in Sydney navigated New South Wale’s criminal trespass laws in the 1970s and 1980s. In doing so it also provides a history of campaigns that occurred in Woolloomooloo, Pyrmont, and Glebe. Click below to download it in PDF form. Becoming extra-legal squatting inside and beyond the … Continue reading »

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1980, Sydney: A Self Help Community – The Darlinghurst-Wollomoolo Squatters

During the 1970s a large number of squats were set up in properties purchased and subsequently left empty by the Department of Main Roads in Sydney. Amongst the variety of creative projects that came out of this community was this report and proposal for cooperative housing. Prepared by Greg Vickas, Paula Fairbairn, Helen Pellow, Petra … Continue reading »

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1974: Adelaide’s squatted women’s shelter

In 1974, inspired by tales of post-war squatting, members of South Australia’s women’s liberation movement set up one of Adelaide’s first women’s shelters in a squatted house in Brompton that had been earmarked for road building. The following excerpts from Sylvia Kinder’s 1980 Herstory of Adelaide Women’s Liberation, 1969-74 detail some of the trials and … Continue reading »

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1970s: Adelaide, Bowden-Brompton Community Group

In 1976 residents in the Bowden-Brompton area of Hindmarsh in Adelaide joined together with students to form the Bowden Brompton Community Group. Throughout the decade houses left empty by the Highways Department were taken over and used for housing as outlined in the following article from Liberation, the Adelaide Women’s Liberation Newsletter, #39.

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1970s: Interview with Ian Milliss about Victoria St Squats

In this interview,¬†originally broadcast on Community Radio 3CR, Iain McIntyre talks with Ian Milliss about his involvement with Sydney’s Victoria St squats. During the early 1970s this street in Kings Cross became the focus of a long running anti-development struggle that brought together long term residents, unionists and squatters in a campaign which reignited squatting … Continue reading »

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1970s: Victoria St Squats, Sydney

During the early 1970s Victoria Street in Kings Cross became the focus of a long running anti-development struggle that brought together long term residents, unionists and squatters in a campaign which reignited squatting across the city. The following article, written by Shane, originally appeared in Crowbar My Heart #3, 2009: This unaccountably long article is … Continue reading »

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Bowen Hills 1972

Resistance to freeway construction and squatting have often gone hand in hand. All around the world the eviction of tenants and the compulsory purchase of homes by developers and governments has often led people to occupy and squat emptied properties in attempts to stop their destruction. One of many campaigns, and a successful one, that … Continue reading »

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