Aboriginal Housing and Housing Activism in NSW


Aboriginal housing activism in New South Wales has a 135 year history. This report from the Tenants’ Union of NSW documents this history from the dispossession of land and housing at the beginning of colonisation to the unfinished business in 2023 of securing appropriate, affordable housing that is aligned with the priorities and needs of Aboriginal people.

Through a housing activism lens it looks at early Aboriginal petitioners for land, the operation of reserves and mission and the Cumeragunja ‘Walk-off’, the era of protectionism and the policy and practice of assimilation, the establishment of Land Councils and the battles for land rights, the schemes to provide public housing for Aboriginal people through to the emergence of Aboriginal tenant advice services. 

The report highlights the on-going resistance and resilience of Aboriginal people in New South Wales and was developed with Aboriginal advocates and housing workers and we acknowledge and appreciate their support.