The Block: Stories from a Meeting Place

Les Polletti, 57, is a Bundjalung security guard. His wife Donna, 58, is a court applicant with the Redfern Legal Centre and a Wiradjuri woman. Here they share their story of meeting and marrying on the Block in Redfern for the interactive documentary The Block: Stories from a Meeting Place.

They have both lived on or around the Block since they were teenagers. They lived at 57 Eveleigh Street for two years prior to being evicted in November 2010.

Les is a member of the Stolen Generations. He was taken from his parents when he was nine years old and placed in Kinchela Boys’ Home.

The home was closed in 1969. Les and several fellow inmates made their way to the Block, which was known to be a meeting place for Indigenous people separated from their families.

At the time, Les’s grandmother had a house in Eveleigh Street and he moved in with her. It was then that he met Donna and they became a couple. In 1974, the couple had their daughter, Leslie.

Les found it difficult to cope with his memories of Kinchela, and this put a strain on his relationship with Donna. They separated in 1977 and Donna moved away.

In 2003, the couple rekindled their relationship and decided to get married. The ceremony was conducted by Pastor Bill Simon and was held at the Block in 2005.

The couple is currently living in Waterloo. They are training to become pastors with the Aboriginal Pentecostal Church. They have one child together and each have another child from previous relationships.

Les has nine grandchildren. Donna has five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.