This is a preview of Myra’s petition.
After 3 March this link will take you to Myra’s change.org petition where you can sign and share.
Save Myra from Eviction
Please sign this petition to save Myra Demetriou from eviction.
Myra is 88 years old and blind and has lived in this community since 1959. Through her own determination and with the support of those around her, she is able to lead an active and independent life. Myra is a volunteer church and community worker and an inspiration to the people who know her. The State Government wants to ‘relocate’ Myra away from the only place she knows. If Myra is forced to leave, she will lose her independence. The State Government supports aging in place, but it intends to move Myra and other vulnerable residents away from the only homes they have known for decades.
All public housing tenants in The Rocks, Millers Point and Dawes Point have been told they must leave by March 2016. A few live in large 19th-century houses that the government has neglected for decades. The government now says these properties are too valuable to retain for public housing and too expensive to repair. But the majority of Millers Point public housing tenants live in the modest flats that were purpose built for maritime workers, or in the Sirius apartments that were built when local residents and the BLF saved The Rocks from high-rise development in the 1970s. Although the government is not yet offering to sell these properties, which do not fit their story of public housing tenants living in multi-million-dollar homes, nonetheless it is clearing out these properties. Read about these other properties and the people of Millers Point here:
The respected SGS Economic and Planning group has produced an independent report on the government’s plan to sell Millers Point housing. It advises an alternative way forward for Millers Point. Here is a link to the full SGS report:
Myra is fighting to save herself and her community, and her only way to do this is to share her story. From 1959 to 1970 she lived in Erskine Street with only a fuel stove for cooking and a copper for hot water. When her home was demolished to build the Western Distributor, she moved to Millers Point:
“It was a busy but happy time when our family moved to Trinity Avenue. I was still working for J Walter Thompson, before I became secretary to the bishop in 1972. My two children attended Fort Street School, where I formed many friendships, including with Nita McCrae. In my spare time I ran the Historical and Military Museum at the Holy Trinity Church across the road, which housed many important artefacts and records from the early years of the Colony.
“After my husband passed away in 1991 I cared for my next-door neighbour Billy and would have been eligible for the Carer Allowance, but by that time my sight had deteriorated to such an extent that I was classified as legally blind, and I was judged by Social Services as incapable of looking after Billy. So I cared for him for many years anyway, and managed without the allowance.
“I lived in Trinity Avenue until 2008 when a friend visiting from New Zealand told me that the narrow and steep stairs in my house were too dangerous and she would never visit me again if I did not move. I knew several people in Sirius and when an apartment became available I agreed to move there.”
Myra now looks out for many of her fellow residents of Sirius and goes out most days. She remains an active member of the Holy Trinity Church congregation; she regularly attends lectures at the Mechanics Institute and State Library; goes shopping with neighbours; and meets neighbours at the Community Centre.
This petition calls on the State Government to show that it can respond to the needs of real people. The report that informed its decision to clear out an entire community indicated ‘relocation’ of vulnerable or elderly people like Myra would result in death for some, and poor mental and physical health outcomes for others. Please allow Myra to live in her own home in the community that knows and values her, and where she can continue to contribute to the life of the neighbourhood and the city.
Please sign this petition to save Myra and her community. There are also petitions to sign for Mary Vo and Flo Seckold:
[link to Flo’s petition when it is posted]
Friends of Millers Point