TREVOR DAVIES 25/5/1956 - 14/6/2011
ORAL HISTORY INTERVIEW 2007
Trevor Davies was a member of the Editorial Committee of the South Sydney Herald (SSH), a publication of South Sydney Uniting Church. He was born in Wales in 1956, to a strong working class family. He came to Australia in 1966, moving to Redfern in 1978.
You have lived in the area for many years now. Can you give us some background about your involvement in the establishment of the local community paper in Redfern? How did you get involved with the SSH?
Trevor Davies: I was running a monthly Politics in the Pub in Chippendale about 1994. We were publishing and distributing about 2,000 newsletters on A3 format, which advertised the pub forums and had some articles that went to every house in Redfern and Darlington. The paper was photocopied at an office of an inner city politician.
The church I go to is South Sydney Uniting Church [the publisher of South Sydney Herald].
How does the SSH differ from the mainstream community papers in the area or, what do you see as the main contribution of SSH to the community?
Trevor Davies: I’m not sure if their papers are similar to ours. Ours is not-for-profit, ‘leftish’, and tells stories from across the inner city. The main contribution is that people outside the Aboriginal community and outside the public housing community read sympathetic stories about public housing issues and Aboriginal issues. We are the only paper, monthly or weekly, that goes around door to door around the large public housing estates in the inner city and around the Block, as well as to the more wealthy parts of the inner city. We are the people bringing people together.
From my own impression, SSH is truly engaging with the community from all walks of life: developers, politicians, residents, minority groups. What personally motivates your activism in social issues, in particular, giving voice to important issues and people?
Trevor Davies: An end to homophobia, racism, an end to poverty, etc.
How does your personal philosophy fit in with your membership of the Uniting Church?
Trevor Davies: Well, the answer is obvious. My Christian faith. As a Christian and as part of the Christian family at South Sydney, we are bringing about the Kingdom of God.
What support do you get from the community in running the paper?
Trevor Davies: They help us with distribution and they attend our fundraisers.
What are the highlights that you can think of in terms of SSH’s story coverage that has made an impact on positive changes in the community?
Trevor Davies: Our advocacy of the Pemulwuy project [Housing project proposed by the Aboriginal Housing Company] and the support we have given to the ‘Self Injection Room’ at the Cross would have made an impact. There are probably others.
Do you have any wish list in terms of the operation of SSH?
Trevor Davies: That our advertising covers our cost, website and a circulation across the city through the CBD, to Glebe and Pyrmont.
Interviewer: Deborah Wall