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Positive Energy

The winds of change are blowing through Redfern, according to the new president of the Redfern Waterloo Chamber of Commerce (RWCC), Mary Lynne Pidcock reports Sandra Fonseca in Central of 22 October 2008..

“Wherever you look in Redfern there’s something exciting and positive happening,” she said.

“From our perspective Redfern is a jewel. It is a significant part of the city with a strong history and culture.”

Ms Pidcock, who was elected in August at the chamber’s AGM, said her vision was to harness the historical energy and commitment of local people to bring necessary change.

“The people who live here love Redfern and many people have lived here a long time. I want to be a part of getting that energy together”, she said.

The chamber is currently working on a project called Roll Up Redfern, which aims to reinvigorate the Redfern commercial precinct.

“Our focus is to let everyone know that Redfern is open for business,” she said.

“We want to get the shutters up in Redfern St, because it’s not a nice look. We want to get lots of activity in Redfern and let everyone know about all the work going into the area.

“There’s new shops opening up which haven’t put in shutters, which is a good sign, and were trying to encourage other people to come in and get those shutters up.”

Ms Pidcock said Redfern is an ideal location for small businesses because, despite its proximity to the centre, rental prices were still economical, and the area is well served by public transport.

“The challenge is to change the views some people erroneously hold about Redfern,” she said. “We’ve been working closely with police, which are reporting that crime is going down.”

Ms Pidcock says she believes if more people actually visited Redfern, it would have a different image.

She said urban renewal initiatives by the council, such as the $19-million upgrade of Redfern Park and the installation of new lighting and footpaths on Redfern St, were a positive step.

“The thing I’m confident about is that there’s a lot of different groups, which are really committed to the area,” she said.

Photo: Phil Rogers