End of an era

It’s been referred to as social cleansing, the removal of every single person from one of Australia’s oldest public housing communities, Millers Point in Sydney. After three years of protests all 293 dwellings were eventually made empty, with more than 400 people evicted, many of them elderly. Connections to the historic harbourside enclave slowly disappeared, eventually leaving only a ghost town, in preparation for the wealthy to move in. I spent two years visiting long-term resident Paddy Tiedeman, whose family had lived in the area for five generations. One of the last standing, she fought to stay, but the combination of her advanced age, health-related issues and government pressure meant Paddy eventually moved out. Paddy’s story was an example of the privilege that comes with doing journalism. Being invited into someone’s life, that otherwise you might never get to experience. Seeing up close the strength and determination of the human spirit, a reminder to never underestimate anyone.