Ian Milliss

Ian Milliss was active in the Victoria St squats of the 1970s.
The squatting action followed forced evictions which made way for large scale residential development in Potts Point. In his interview Ian talks about the politics, art, personalities and background to those and other related events. In the excerpt below he recalls finding some touching reminders of the evicted tenants.

Well, there was a lot of furniture in there and in fact a lot of what we did was clean stuff out and there were really quite depressing and poignant things. I’ve still got two things from that very first day, which were from a flat which obviously belonged to someone who was one of the protected tenants, and one of them’s like a little coin, a little leather coin wallet, but it has a little engraved silver thing on it saying [that it was] given to someone or other for their services …; and the other thing I’ve got is a Georgian silver teaspoon which I just picked up off the floor. There was all this cutlery thrown across the floor and I was just looking at it and I thought “That’s a bit odd” and I picked it up and I’ve still got both of those. But that was the sort of thing you’d find in this mess and detritus, and that stuff had been lying on the floor, being trampled for months. I just picked them up, but it was sort of really, just these destroyed lives, and all of the flats were like that. So we sort of actually cleaned them out and kept furniture if it was like chairs and tables, if there was anything there like that.

Virginia Macleod