City News

Redfern mourns the death of community activist

The Redfern community is mourning the death of REDwatch founding member Trevor Davies following his death on Tuesday.

Mr Davis will be remembered for founding and editing the South Sydney Herald and for his community activism and commitment to social justice.

Spokesperson for REDWatch and close friend Geoff Turnbull, said: “There is now a vacuum that needs to be filled in so many areas of the community.”

As founding editor and regular columnist, Mr Davies started the South Sydney Herald, originally as an A3 newsletter that he photocopied in the office of an inner city politician.

Close friend Lyn Turnbull said the paper played an important role in the community, which continues today.

“One of the most important ways he [Trevor] could engage with the community was through the South Sydney Herald, telling positive stories about the area at a time when nothing good was coming out of Redfern,” she said.

Mr Davies played a prominent role in the Waterloo-Redfern area; he was an Elder of the South Sydney Uniting Church and he was the Secretary of the Darlington ALP Branch

Reverend Dr Dorothy Mcmahon from the Uniting Church said Mr Davies was a passionate believer in both the church and the Labor party. She said his presence in the community will be missed.

“Trevor Davies was a legend. There he was, often struggling with multiple health issues and yet at the centre of community life, caring for others. He knew the life stories of so many people and was their friend and advocate.

“We will all miss Trevor Davies and no-one could replace him,” she said.

Mr Davies was part of the protest to save the housing estate ‘the block’ and was a regular campaigner against homophobia, racism and poverty.

Sydney Greens Councillor Irene Doutney described Davies’ ‘sharp eye’ for local issues and his love of the area.

“Trevor really was at the grass roots of this area with his role in the independent press, his great love of the Labor party and his devotion to the South Sydney Uniting Church,” she said.

A Facebook tribute to Mr Davies highlights his passion for local politics and the Australian Labor Party.

“If you’ve ever frequented the shops at Darlington you would have seen him around either working at the news agent, or more likely discussing politics at one of the cafes,” wrote Alexender Turnbull.

“His loss will be felt widely and incredibly deeply,” said Councillor Doutney.

Councillor Doutney and Mr Turnbull said his famous sign off to every conversation, “God bless you,” will be fondly remembered.

Mr Davies, aged 55, was scheduled to have an angiogram on Tuesday but was taken to hospital on the day before.

Doctors discovered a congential hole in his heart and he died on Tuesday morning after suffering a heart attack.

By Tara Blancato