Redfern Park and Oval a heritage site
Many South Sydney Rabbitohs fans already think of Redfern Oval as a significant site, but now it’s been made official, following its approval to be included on the NSW State Heritage Register.
NSW Heritage Minister Gabrielle Upton said the addition of Redfern Park and Oval to the register recognises its important role in shaping sporting, cultural and social movements over many generations.
“It may surprise some people to learn that the site of what is now Redfern Park and Oval was once a wetland that connected the Tank Stream in the new colony with Botany Bay.
Ms Upton said Redfern Park and Oval has been an important site for Aboriginal culture and heritage for hundreds of years.
“Redfern Park hosted protests which led to changes in Aboriginal rights, was a corroboree ground and continues as a meeting place for Aboriginal people,” she said.
“Not only is the park significant for Aboriginal people, but it is also a remarkable example of 19th century park design and is a precious green space in the heart of the city, with trees considered to date back to the original 1886 plantings.”
Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Sarah Mitchell said it’s appropriate for Aboriginal sites like the Redfern Park and Oval to be recognised.
“This announcement means Redfern Park and Oval will forever be recognised as a significant historic site,” Ms Mitchell said.
“It’s fantastic to see that this site, which has been a special meeting place for so long, will continue to be the epicentre of Aboriginal culture, activism and self-determination for years to come.”
Redfern Oval also has a long association with the NSW Rugby League as the original home of the South Sydney Rabbitohs.
Other League sides including the Redfern All Blacks and La Perouse United Aboriginal teams also trained there.
Chief Executive Officer of the Metropolitan Aboriginal Land Council Nathan Moran welcomed the listing, which he said has enormous significance for Aboriginal people.
“Aboriginal people have always been part of this story starting way back as the homelands of the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation.
“It has significance as the home of the South Sydney Rabbitohs, as the finest players in Souths’ history have been Aboriginal, be it Greg Inglis today or previously the goal kicking whiz, Eric Simms and the inspirational captain, John Sattler, who once played a whole grand final with a broken jaw.
“It is also the place where Redfern All Blacks hosted numerous Aboriginal Rugby League Knockouts, the single largest gathering of Aboriginal people nationally,” Mr Moran said.
Brent Marshall | Minister Upton | 0436 460 732
Sally Taylor | Minister Mitchell | 0428 149 401