The Block: Stories from a Meeting Place

Fred Buchanan, 18, recently finished high school at the Alexandria Park Community School. He wants to be a lawyer or a plumber. He is a descendant of the Badjiri people. Here he talks about being a young Indigenous resident of the Block in Redfern for the interactive documentary The Block: Stories from a Meeting Place.

He lived in a house on the Block’s Eveleigh Street until he was five years old with family, which included his parents, grandparents, six brothers and sister.

Fred was deeply affected by the death of TJ Hickey, who was his cousin.

TJ died in 2004, when fell of his bike whilst riding away from police. The death sparked riots.

Fred says he and his friends were subjected to continuous police harassment and routinely strip-searched on the street when they were younger.

Since the riots, numerous youth support programs have emerged in Redfern and the situation has improved for young people.

Fred takes part in the Tribal Warrior Mentorship Program, and like many other young people in the community, once a week he attends boxing training sessions with the Redfern Police Area Commander, Luke Freudenstein, at the National Centre for Indigenous Excellence.

Fred has played football for the Redfern All Blacks since he was seven years old; he is currently in the under-19s squad.

He currently lives in Petersham with his cousin.