The Block: Stories from a Meeting Place

Eora woman Yvonne Phillips was a pastor with the Aboriginal Pentecostal Church of Jesus Christ and a respected Block community elder. Here she talks about working with the youth on the Block in Redfern for the interactive documentary The Block: Stories from a Meeting Place.

Born and raised in Redfern, she lived on the Block for much of her life and called it her belonging place. Until their eviction in May, she and her husband Richard Phillips lived at 5 Vine St.

In the 1980s, Yvonne and Richard raised the money to open the Koori Lighthouse at 2-4 Holden Street on the Block. It became a drop-in centre for Indigenous people, providing counselling, food, overnight accommodation and many other services.

It also offered entertainment to the community: arcade games, dances, parties, church services and other community events.

Yvonne could trace her roots in Redfern right up to her great-grandmother, who walked from Singleton back to Redfern to die, because she felt it was her belonging place.

Her and her husband had 10 children; they are the parents of Tribal Warrior Association CEO Shane Phillips.

Yvonne passed away in July 2012.