It has been 40 years since a group of idealistic, young Aboriginal men and women got fed up with living in "slums and pig sties" and formed a housing association in the heart of Sydney.
The early 1970s were heady times for the Indigenous rights movement in Australia and Redfern was its home ground - arguably the birthplace of land rights, dedicated legal services, and Aboriginal healthcare.
But after just four decades, the dreams of a disparate nation carried by those pioneering activists are on the brink of collapse.
On Saturday morning, the ranks of a newly-established tent embassy, pitched in the heart of The Block, will be bolstered with a rally by the community against their own - the modern-day Aboriginal Housing Company headed by Mick Mundine.
The organisation, which started in 1973 with a grant from the Whitlam government to cover the cost of 41 terrace houses for Sydney's growing and dispossessed urban Indigenous population, has mutated into a private company with plans to soon turn the sod on a massive residential and commercial complex.
The company has a membership capped at 100 and says it cannot afford to provide housing for Aboriginal people on The Block.
It has reinforced its distance from the community it was established to serve by erecting "private property" signs around the infamous square bordered by Vine, Eveleigh, Caroline and Louis streets.
"It's not Micky Mundine's private, sovereign land," tent embassy organiser Jenny Munro said. "[The Housing Company] was not set up or intended for the purpose Micky is doing."
Mr Mundine, the long- standing chief executive, throws up his hands and says it is the government's responsibility to provide affordable housing for the Aboriginal community. "It's very hard to get money for affordable housing," he said. "No bank in Australia will give money for affordable housing."
The plan, he said, was to make money from the development to fund Aboriginal housing down the track.
Tent embassy organisers say they have reported the Housing Company, a registered charity, to the federal charity regulator. The Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission does not confirm whether it is investigating an organisation.
Just a few streets over from The Block in the rapidly-gentrifying Redfern, the community is battling another organisation set up in the spirit of self-determination in the early '70s - the Aboriginal Medical Service (AMS).
The first of its kind in the country, it attracted a raft of talented non-Aboriginal doctors to work alongside its Indigenous staff, including the late Professor Fred Hollows, one of its founders who served as the practice's first medical director.
The Redfern AMS has been been a guiding light for decades in Aboriginal healthcare, but now, like the Housing Company, it has begun to find itself on the wrong side of the community it was intended to serve.
Currently, the AMS has no medical director and no diabetes clinic, Fairfax has been told by staff. At least three doctors have left the service in the past 12 months, along with four nurses and the practice director. People working in security, HR and administration have also resigned or been sacked over the last year.
While the AMS argues it in the midst of an internal review to improve the service, some staff and patients have raised concerns about the role of some members of the Bellear family in the service.
Sol Bellear is the AMS chairman, his sister, LaVerne Bellear, is the acting chief executive officer, while his former partner, Naomi Mayers, is the CEO on long-term leave and unlikely to return.
Mr Bellear would not speak to Fairfax for this article.
Federal Health Minister Peter Dutton is looking into hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments from the AMS to South Sydney Rabbitohs star Greg Inglis, some of it from Medicare income, and the Health Department is investigating other aspects of the service.
The long-term provider of GP registrars to the government-funded AMS, GP Synergy, has warned that the practice is now in danger of "imploding" in spite of its "stellar" history.
Government authorities are wary of getting involved publicly in what is considered internal Aboriginal politics and most remain tight-lipped on the issues confronting Redfern's Indigenous population.
But for the many community members Fairfax has spoken to, the problem is simple: power in Aboriginal Redfern has been consolidated in the hands of a few people.
A Fairfax reporter visited a Redfern community centre in 1973 and recorded the words on a sign there that promised so much, but seem cruel in 2014: "[The Block] project belongs to the black community. Please don't destroy it. This means you."