The Block: Stories from a Meeting Place

Lizzie Ward, 16, is a high school student, descended from the Dungati people. Here she talks about being a young Indigenous resident of the Block in Redfern for the interactive documentary The Block: Stories from a Meeting Place.

She was born in Newtown in 1996 and lived at 50 Eveleigh Street with her aunt Barbara, who has cared for her since she was just six weeks old.

Her mother was a heroin user. She died of septicaemia when Lizzie was just two years old.

When Lizzie was a baby, somebody fired a gun through the window of her house one night and the bullet hit the wall and ricocheted into her shoe. The culprit was never found.

Lizzie lived on the Block, attending the Murawina pre-school, until she was about four years old.

Lizzie’s great-great grandmother was Block elder Polly Smith and her grandmother is Rita Smith, one of the first people to be given a home on the Block, at 7 Louis Street in 1972.

Lizzie loves drama, music and art and wants to be an actress or a singer one day. She and her aunt are currently living in Waterloo.