A chronology of lesbian and gay communities, movements, and venues in Sydney









1960 - 1966























































Australian society in the late 1960s was hostile to homosexuals or, at least, its institutions were. The Law treated gay men as criminals who could be locked away for 14 years for the “abominable crime of buggery”, and the police were active in trying to prosecute them.

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Coming Out Into a Hostile World

Francesca (Chesca) Curtis's television appearance on The Bailey File, a Melbourne-based current affairs programme on commercial television TV's Channel 9, in May or June 1970, speaking about the aims of the Australian Lesbian Movement was arguably Australia's first "coming out" in the media.

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Australia's First National Coming Out

Homosexual/transgender social groups began forming in the early 1960s in Sydney. They offered membership of a discreet “camp” organisation. Their dances provided the perfect stage for Sydney’s new amateur drag scene to flourish and a place for men and women to meet up and find Miss or Mr Right – at least for the night. In the Leichhardt area, there was no shortage of public halls for these groups.

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Leichhardt/Dykehardt Exhibition

Male homosexual acts are no longer criminal in NSW – the law was amended in 1984, and ‘gay’ men can live quite open lives, with a range of venues where they can socialize in ways similar to their heterosexual counterparts. Also, the two worlds now softly collide, with gays and straights mixing together quite easily in many places in Sydney’s inner suburbs.

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And The Beats Go On...

The following people participated in the first Mardi Gras and/or the related events . While every attempt has been made to ensure accuracy, the list could include errors and omissions. Some names are also likely to be the arrestees' aliases.

78ers Honour Roll


1985 Community groups




Date listed




Acceptance Sydney

51 Holt St, Surry Hills

First listing December 1979

Acceptance Gay Switchboard

212 5247

Ad February 1984

AIDS Action Committee

Gay Centre

Ad July 1984; Listed January 1985

AIDS Council of NSW

PO Box 350, Darlinghurst

February 1985

AIDS Hotline

332 4000

Listed December 1985

AIDS Learning Exchange

CYSS Campbell Street, Darlinghurst

May 1985

AIDS & Related Conditions Council of NSW


February 1985

AIDS Task Force


February 1985;


Suite 4, 246 William St

January 1985

Albion Street Centre


March 1985

ALP Gay Group

51 Holt Street, Surry Hills

Listed January 1985


POP Box 98, Enmore

First mention May 1980

Ankali Project

c/2 2 Albion Street, Surry Hills

May 1985

Armidale Gay Society (TAGS)

PO Box 581, Armidale

First listing 11 May 1983

Australian Communications

PO Box 222, Haymarket

Listing June 1985;

Australian National Gay Sports Association

PO Box 411, Dee Why

Listing November 1985

Australian Transsexual Association

Tireslas House, PO Box 266, Petersham

Listed January 1985


306  Crown Street, Darlinghurst

Listed January 1985




Belmore Park Lesbian Touch Football Team


Listing November 1985

Bobby Goldsmith Foundation


Mention July 1984;

Boomerangs Social Club

Box 94, Broadway

First listing March 1979





Box 70, Student’s Union, Macquarie Uni

Listed January 1985


PO Box 62, Croydon Park

Listed January 1985

Castaways Social Group


June 1985

City Country Contacts

Box 47 Toronto

Listed January 1985

Clover Businesswomen’s Club

 122 Victoria Road, Drummoyne

First listing August 1980

Coastal Connections

PO Box 259, Toukley

Newly formed November 1984

Coasters Social Group

PO Box 440 Murwillumbah

Listed January 1985;

Community Support Network


Formed at meeting June 1984

Compass Club

PO Box 121 Winmalee

Established 1 February 1983



Listed January 1985

Council of Gay Groups

Box C369, Clarence St

Listed Janaury 1985

Country Network

PO Box 127, Katoomba

First listing October 1980

Cronulla Gay Group

PO Box 195, Cronulla

First listing 1979

Cross Section

Pitt Street Congregational Church

Listed January 1985

Crossways Association of Australia

Meets at Gay Centre

BBQ listed 25 June 1983




The Dolphin Motor Club

Meet at Beresford Hotel, Wednesdays; from July 15 meet at Unicorn Hotel

First listing June 1979




Enola Gay

PO Box K485, Haymarket

First mention March 1984




The Family


Ad for Fancy Dress Ball

September 1985

Fitness Exchange

51 Holt St, Surry Hills

New location October 1981

Four Seasons Social Group

PO Box 1654, Coffs Harbour

Listing November 1985;

Freelance Bowling League

Rushcutters Bowl

First Listing April 1983

Friends of the ADB

c/- ADB

Listed January 1985





211 1177

Ad May 1984;

Gay Business Association (NSW)

PO Box 41, Paddington

August 1981 Election

Gaycare Counselling Service

Wayside Crisis Centre

November 1985

Gay City Broadcasters

2RSR FM 88.9

Ad October 1984 until 3 November 1985

Gays Counselling Service

51 Holt Street, Surry Hills

Prior to March 1983

Gay Crisis Network

Ph 211 4449

Listing December 1985


203/99 Lilyfield Road, Lilyfield

Listing January 1985

Gay Disabled Club of Australia

Michael Winter 1/165 Booth Street, Annandale

First listing 7 July 1983. Not listed 29 November 1985

Gay Games Group

Gay Centre

First listing December 1985

Gay Groups of Alcoholics Anonymous

119 Devonshire Street, Surry Hills

Listing June 1985

Gay Immigration Task Force

GPO Box 415, Sydney

May 1985

Gay Information

PO Box 943, Darlinghurst

Listed November 1985

Gay Liberation Quire

Box 380, Broadway

First mention 27 June 1981.

Gay Philhellenic Society

51 Holt Street, Surry Hills

First listing April 1981

Gay Radio Information News Service (GRINS)

PO Box 380, Broadway

First listing July 1984

Gay Railway Workers Group


Mentioned April 1984

Gay Rights Lobby

Box 9, Darlinghurst

Established 16 October 1980

Gay Skate

Majestic, Petersham

Listing January 1985

Gay Solidarity Group

Box 380, Broadway. Meets first Thursday each month.

Established 1978 see chronology.

Gay Teachers and Students Group

Box 3, Kingsgrove

First listing Aug 1980

Gay Union of Tertiary Staff

Govt Dept, University of Sydney

Listed January 1985

Gay Waves Radio


First mention March 1980

Gay Wives

Gay Centre

Mention August 1985

Gay Women’s Group (New England)

PO Box 763, Armidale

Listing January 1985

Gays and Trade Unions

PO Box 558, Neutral Bay

Listing January 1985

Gays Against Racism

PO Box C232 Clarence Street, Sydney

Listing January 1985

Group 11

PO Box 610; Penrith

First listing May 1981

Groupers Dive Club

Meets Newtown Hotel

Listed January 1985




Hullabaloo Theatre Co.

Box 635, Sydney

Listed January 1985





51 Holt Street, Surry Hills

First listing 16 May 1983

Immigration Task Force

10 Sheppard Street, Broadway

Listing December 1985

Inside Out

PO Box 380 Broadway

First listing 13 October 1983




Knights of the Chameleons

Phone number

2nd Debutante Ball notice 24 April 1983; 10th empress 17 September

Koornkoo Walkers

Sydney Gay Centre

Listed January 1985




Lambda Legal Defence Fund


Fund raiser 28 April 1984

Lesbian Feminists

c/- 62 Regent Street, Chippendale

Listing June 1985

Lesbian and Gay Male Network


Mentioned September 1985

Lesbian Line

810 5630

Listed January 1985

Lesbian Network

PO Box 215, Rozelle

Listing November 1985

Lesbian Mothers

PO Box M9 Newtown

Listing November 1985

Lesbian Nurses

PO Box 114, Paddington

Listing November 1985

Lesbian Research Project

PO Box K396, Haymarket

Listing November 1985

Lesbian Teacher’s Group

PO Box 209, Drummoyne

Listing June1985

Lesbians Everywhere Support Group

PO Box 667, North Sydney

Listing November 1985

Lismore Stonewall Collective

PO Box 882, Lismore

Listing November 1985

Liverpool Lesbian Support Group

272 George Street, Liverpool

Listing January 1985




Macquarie Uni Lesbian and Gay Collective

Box 70, Mac Uni

Listing January 1985

Mardi Gras Committee 1984 for 1985

51 Holt Street, Surry Hills

Listed 18 July 1983

Metropolitan Community Church

Village Church, Paddington (Sun); Suite 4, 246 William Street, Kings Cross (Wed)

First listing 1979

Minority Disabled and Handicapped Organisation

40/73 Anglesea Street, Bondi Junction

Listing November 1985

Mountaineers, The

PO Box 205 Springwood

First mention May 1980




Newcastle Gayline

049 546 6894

Listed January 1985

Newcastle Gay Rap

PO Box 305, Hamilton

Listed January 1985

Newcastle Gay Rights Lobby

PO Box 247 Hamilton

Listed December 1985


PO Box 57, Islington

Listed 1985

Newtown Hotel Social Group


First mention September 1985;

New Tradition Dance

51 Holt Street, Surry Hills

Listed January 1985

Northern Rivers Gaywaves


Listed November 1985

Northshore Voluntarians

211 1177

Ad May 1984

Northside Alternative

PO Box 75, Dee Why

Listing January 1985





PO Box K396, Haymarket

Listing November 1985




Parents and Friends of Gay

Ida contact phone number

Group revival call August 1985, active January 1985

The Pelican Club

PO Wyoming

Listing November 1985

Penrith Area Gay Group

Dance at Mulgoa

Listing January 1985

Police Gay Liaison Unit/Group


Meeting to discuss set up 14 October 1984

Polynesians Social Club

GPO Box 2935

First listing August 1980




Road Runners Motorcycle Club

PO Box 986, Darlinghurst

Listing December 1985

Meet Paddington Green Hotel, first Thurs month

Roo Bike Club, The

Meets Flinders Hotel, Tuesdays. Meets Newtown Hotel from 15 July 1983.

First listing July 1980




Seahorse Club of Australia

PO Box 289, Enfield

Listing January 1985

Seventh Day Adventist

PO Box 13, Edgecliff

Listed January 1985

Sexually Outrageous Women

PO Box 236, Strawberry Hill 2012

First mention May 1984

Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence

41 Wellington Street, Rozelle

First listing August 1982

Socialism, Feminism, and Gay Liberation Conference Collective

Phone 5699288

Listing December 1985

South Pacific Motor Club

2 Lilyfield Rd, Rozelle

First listing June 1980

South Sydney Women’s Centre

231 Abercrombie Street, Chippendale

Listing November 1985

Southern Cross Outdoors Group

PO Box 411 Dee Why

First Listing 14 April 1983

Southern Cross Outdoor Group Volley Ball Club


Article September 1985;

Stonewall Collective

Box K485, Haymarket

First listing December 1980

Summerland Gay People

Green Winter Farm, Dorroughy

Listing January 1985

Sydney Front Runners

51 Holt Street, Surry Hills

Listed July 1985

Sydney Gay Centre

51 Holt Street, Surry Hills

First mention October 1981

Sydney Gay Sports Association

51 Holt Street, Surry Hills

Ad January 1985

Sydney Gay Youth Group

51 Holt Street, Surry Hills

Mention first meeting 10 August 1985

Sydney Mardi Gras Association Committee 1985 for 1986


September 1985 organising Sleaze

Sydney Rams

Leichhardt Olympic Bowl

First mention January 1984

Sydney Road Runners

c/- Paddington Green Hotel

February 1985. Male and female riders

Sydney University Lesbian and Gay Collective

Box 248 Holme Building, Sydney University

Ad April 1984




T Cell Group

Gay Centre

March 1985

Triangle Basketball Club

Alexandria Stadium

May 1985

Twenty-Ten Refuge

660 0539

Forms March 1982

Twin Cities Gay Group

PO Lavington

Listing November 1985




Unicorn Social Club


August 1985


Box 1097, Wollongong

First listing May 1981

University of NSW Lesbians

Union Box 67, UNSW Kensington

Listing January 1985




Villagers, The

Liverpool Phone number

First listing March 1980




Waratah Deaf Association

PO Box 74, Mt Druitt

Ad September 1984

West Connections

Annual ball

June 1985

Western Suburbs Inter-Group

BBQ at Parramatta

September 1985

Wollongong Gay Youth Group

PO Box 470, Wollongong

Listed December 1985

Woman’s Place A

164 Victoria Street, Potts Point

Listing November 1985;

Women Together

PO Box 134, Guildford

Listing November 1985

Women’s Housing Co-op

53-55 Liverpool Street, Sydney

Listing November 1985

Women’s Legal Resource Centre

9 Carroll Street, Lidcombe

Listing November 1985

Women’s Liberation House

62 Regent Street, Chippendale

Listing November 1985




Young Gays (Sydney)

51 Holt St, Surry Hills

New address October 1981; Restarts August 1985

Updated: 20 March 2016 by John Witte using listings and mentions in various 1985 gay newspapers and magazines. 9PM January, June and December only.


1985 venues


Venue Name


Address Owners Notes Clientele


Nightclubs, Bars, Discos






Centurion Wine Bar

Beaumont & Donald Streets, Hamilton




Review August 1985

Grosvenor Club (Taxi Club)

40 Flinders Street, Darlinghurst


Licensed bar and bistro


Ad June 1984; No mention 1985;

Handlebar (formerly Pete’s Beat)

80 Oxford St, Darlinghurst


Country style food, service


June 1985

Kennedy’s Bistro

Crown Street, Wollongong




Ad January 1984;


45 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst




Listed January 1985

Les Girls

2c Roslyn St, Kings Cross

Apsley Investments

Formerly Carousel Cabaret


First listing September 1980; not listed May 1984;

Midnight Shift

85 Oxford St, Darlinghurst

John and Brian, David Ross and Nick Lorschy in 1980

Fire October 1980; Refurbished 30 September 1983;

1981 “now wider clientele”

First listing August 1980

Newtown Businessmens Club

16 Albermarle Street, Newtown


Entertainment in the Playhouse Dining Roo


First ad 13 January 1984;


33 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst

Dawn O’Donnell, Roger Claude Teyssedre, Alex and Abe Saffron

“Sydney’s hottest gay disco”..


From 1976. Under new management 7 December 1985

Persian Room

43 Darlinghurst Road, Kings Cross




Listed December 1985

Pete’s Beat

80 Oxford St, Darlinghurst

Peter Langford



First listed May1982; opens? 10 June 1982;

Handlebar opens on site May 301985;


810 Hunter Street, Newcastle




Previously listed in 1983. Ads  August 1985


800 Hunter Street, Newcastle


Moves in December 1985 to larger premises


Previously listed in 1983. No mention in 1984. Ads 1985

Ruby Reds

273 Crown Street, Darlinghurst

Dawn O’Donnell, Roger Claude Teyssedre, Alex and Abe Saffron

Where Sydney girls meet. Open nightly from 8pm.


1979 –



24 Darlinghurst Road, Kings Cross


Tina stars from June 1985


First ad June 1985

Zorba’s Disco

13 Goulburn Street, Sydney




Listed January 1985







Albury Hotel (Hog Heaven Restaurant)

6 Oxford Street, Paddington

Leigh Jennings and Nanette Theakstone



From 28 July 1980

Apollo Bar (Imperial Hotel)

252 Oxford Street, Paddington


Bar seven nights, restaurant entertainment. Mostly male crowd.


After 1979

Belmore Park Hotel

Mary & Reservoir St, Surry Hills

Noel Licensee prior 25 July 1983; 25 July 1983 Leanne and Lesley;

See all you gals there


Opens 7 May 1982; Women from 25 July 1983

Beresford Hotel

354 Bourke Street, Surry Hills.

Barry Cecchini

Macho Levi Crowd


From November 1979

Brittania Hotel (Beaus)

103 Cleveland Street, Chippendale




April 1985

Criterion Hotel

139 Maitland Road, Islington


Under new management December 1985


Ads in 1985

Exchange Hotel

34 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst

Dawn O’Donnell, one of the partners; Elizabeth Court licensee 1984;



From March 1981

Flinders Hotel

63 Flinders Street, Surry Hills

Peter Brider. Hosts Peter and Mitch



From August 1980

Golf View Hotel

Rawson Road, Guildford (just off Woodville Road)




Ad May 1984

Honest Irishman Hotel

138 Parramatta Road, Camperdown

Colin Corney

Vicki’s Venue listed 3rd March 1983


From July 1982. Closes 21 April 1985

Newtown Hotel

174 King St, Newtown

August 1982 Dawn and Roger Claude deny ‘moving to Newtown’.



First ad October 1982

Oxford Hotel

134 Oxford St, Darlinghurst

Peter Whittle, Licensee



Opens July 1982

Paddington Green Hotel (Manouvres Bar)

Opposite Victoria Barracks




Opens 18 October 1984

Rex Hotel Kings Cross

Macleay Street, Kings Cross




May 1985. Reappears.

Town Hall Hotel Balmain (Cobweb’s Restaurant)

366 Darling Street, Balmain

Brian Allen and David Viner proprietors 1981


Mixed; Womens Music nights;

First ad December 1981; First listing OWN April 1982

Unicorn Hotel + Shillitos Restaurant

106 Oxford Street, Paddington.

Timothy Berry Licensee,

Mostly male crowd, bar and restaurant.


From October 1979; Shillitos May 1984;

White Horse Hotel

161 Princes Highway, St Peters



Live entertainment

Opens 4th June 1984

Male Saunas/Sex on Premises







253 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst

Neil Taylor

“Hunky hot men.”


From 1973


83 – 85 Anzac Parade, Kensington

David Ross



From 1972. Katacombs May 1982

Lighthouse Coffee Centre

5 Union Street, Newcastle


Previously called “Spa” December 1984


Mentioned July 1985

Roman Bath, The

250 Pitt St, Sydney

David Ross, Nicholas Lorschy

“Relax in the most luxurious and well appointed steam bath in the southern hemisphere.”


1973 - 1988

Bookshops, Galleries






The Bookshop Darlinghurst

207 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst




March 1985

Updated: 20 March 2016 by John Witte using listings and mentions in various 1985 gay newspapers and magazines. 9PM January, June and December only.


1985 Community events


If not in Sydney


January 1985


The Mardi Gras Workshop at 49 Forbes Street, Woolloomooloo opens for the 1985 season.

January 1985


The Qld government bans a booklet from its International Youth Year Kit because it gives the impression there is nothing wrong with homosexuality.

January 1985


The federal Minister for Health, Dr Neal Blewett and prominent epidemiologist John Hirshman attack the national AIDS Task Force (ATF) report that led to press stories of 50,000 men in Sydney carrying AIDS.

January 1985


The Mardi Gras Committee is told that the rent on the Royal Hall of Industries venue for the Mardi Gras party has been doubled.

January 1985


The Triangle Basketball Club of lesbians and gay basketball players is formed.

4 January 1985


The National Gay Task Force of the US recommends that the gay community not take the HTLV-III anti-body test because it does not diagnose AIDS.

10 January 1985


The Sydney Gay Sports Association advertises 15 gay sports clubs and their contacts in The Star.

10 January 1985


The North Shore Voluntarians, a social group for gay men, advertises fortnightly meetings at the San Miguel Hotel, Cammeray.

17 January 1985


Dave Sargeant, gay journalist and activist dies aged 32.

18 January 1985

Guildford UK

Lord Wolfenden who headed the British Government’s Departmental Committee on Homosexual Offences and Prostitution, dies aged 78.

31 January 1985


Professor Pennington head of the national AIDS Task Force (ATF) refutes reports that he had called for the cancellation of the Gay Mardi Gras. Lex Watson attacks the ATF as a “public health nightmare, out of its depth, talking way beyond any semblance or basis of competence, failing to consult or liaise”.

February 1985


The Star reports that a drug HPA 23 has been developed in France that inhibits the spread of the AIDS virus.

February 1985


Dr Julian Gold is appointed the director of the newly opened Albion Street Centre. The Centre provides a clinical medical service.

1 February 1985


A fifty-year retrospective of the paintings and drawings of Donald Friend is held at the Holdsworth Gallery, Woollahra.

7 February 1985


The AIDS and Related Conditions Council of NSW (ARCCON) is formally launched as the organisation that will deal with the federal government. It consists of affiliated member groups – the AIDS Counselling Service, the Bobby Goldsmith Foundation, the Community Support Network and the Gays Counselling Service.

9 – 26 February 1985


A cultural festival of performance, exhibitions, forums, film and sports is held in conjunction with the Gay Mardi Gras.

10 February 1985


The Australian Gay Archives (AGA) hold Melbourne’s first gay history tour.

11 February 1985


The Bookshop Darlinghurst moves from the Link to 207 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst.

12 February 1985


Not Quite Sixty Minutes, a dinner revue, directed by Richard Turner, opens at the Midnight Shift.

15 – 28 February 1985


The AFI and the Gay Mardi Gras present the Gay Film Festival at the Chauvel Cinema, Paddington.

16  February 1985


NSW Police Minister Peter Anderson publically supports the protection of gays from discrimination by Police.

16 February 1985


Roadrunners, a gay and lesbian motorcycle club holds its first Mystery Run from the Beresford Hotel.

17 February 1985


The Gay Business Association Fair is held at Green Park, Darlinghurst.

17 February 1985


The first Sydney Gay Sports Association fun run from Centennial Park to Green Park is held.

21 February 1985


Posters designed by David Judd as part of the Rubba Me safe sex campaign are launched by the Gays Counselling Service (GCS) and the Bobby Goldsmith Foundation (BGF) at the Man venue on Oxford Street. The NSW Health Department refuses to fund this “explicit” campaign.

23 February 1985


The 8th Gay Mardi Gras Parade is held.

25 February 1985


The Sydney Morning Herald publishes a front page article AIDS victims watch as the parade goes by, by Jackie Archer. The SMH admits the article contained very few facts and retracts it two days later.

28 February 1985


A gay pre-premier fund raising night of La Cage aux folles is organised by the Knights of the Chameleons Co-ordinator, Donnie Smith.

March 1985


The former member for Bligh, Fred Miller, is appointed as acting Gay Community Relations Co-ordinator.

March 1985


The T-Cell Group is set up for people without T-cells.

March 1985


US AIDS experts visiting Australia say they recommend that high risk groups be routinely tested for AIDS virus anti-bodies.

19 March 1985


The ABC’s Four Corners program screens a full hour report on AIDS.

20 March 1985


The name “AIDS Council of NSW” appears in The Star, replacing “ AIDS and Related Conditions Council of NSW”.

April 1985


Australia is the first country in the world to test all blood donations for HIV antibodies.

April 1985


The AIDS Council (ACON) places a fresh submission for emergency housing for people with AIDS as the number of people in need rises rapidly.

April 1985


The first person in Newcastle suspected of having AIDS has had his preliminary diagnosis confirmed.

7 April 1985


Ratizm, another Rat’s party produced by Jac Vidgen, Bill Yip and Reno Dal, is held at the Paddington Town Hall.

9 April 1985


Amendments to the Human Tissues Act are introduced in NSW and now require donors of blood or semen to sign a prescribed form.

15 April 1985


The Gay Task Force on Immigration becomes an unincorporated association.

18 April 1985


The Star’s last issue is published, after the owners fail to discharge the debt they owe to the previous owner, Michael Glynn.

21 April 1985


The Britannia Hotel at 103 Cleveland Street, Chippendale, advertises itself as a gay venue.

29 April 1985


The AIDS Council receives $74,000 from the federal government for a Resource Centre and a co-ordinator.

30 April 1985


The drag entertainer Wendy Wayne/Waine (Wayne Brannan) who had worked at Les Girls and Pete’s Beat is shot dead.

30 April 1985


A Trade Unions Working Party forms within ACON.

May 1985


The Ankali Project, a training and support network for people providing emotional and counselling to people with AIDS, is established.

May 1985


Flaws in the Social Fabric – Homosexuals and Society in Sydney, a history of the gay movement in Sydney by Denise Thompson, is published.

2 May 1985


The first issue of The Star Observer is published by Gay Publications Co-operative from Melbourne. The editor is Richard Turner.

5 May 1985


Paul Mortimer alleges that two police assaulted him at the Taxi Club and later at Darlinghurst Police Station and subsequently takes these allegations to the NSW Ombudsman.

9 May 1985


The first issue of Village Voice is published. The managing editor is Glenn Wells.

10 May 1985


40 people graduate from the Community Support Network volunteer nursing program.

14 May 1985


The owners of the Roman Baths and the KKK, Nick Lorschy and David Ross split, with Lorschy managing KKK and Ross the Roman Baths.

29 May 1985


The Human Rights Commission recommends that the lovers of Australian citizens should be allowed to migrate to Australia.

30 May 1985


Magistrate Reason of the Newcastle Magistrate’s Court, finds three works by Juan Davila exhibited at the Lake Macquarie Art Gallery in 1984, are “offensive”.

30 May 1985


The Handlebar at 80 Oxford Street (formerly Pete’s Beat) a denim and leather bar, opens.

1 June 1985


The Chair of ACON, Lex Watson, criticises the federal Minister of Health, Neal Blewett’s warning of tough measures to control AIDS if educational efforts fail.

7 June 1985


The Times of Harvey Milk, a film by Robert Epstein and Richard Schmiecher, screens at the Sydney Film Festival.

9 June 1985


Rat-A-Round and Square, the latest Rat’s party venture is held at the University of NSW Roundhouse and Square House.

10 June 1985


The presentation of the 1985 Caps Awards is held at Patchs disco.

10 June 1985


Graeme Donkin, a co-founder of Acceptance, the Metropolitan Community Church and the Jewish group Chutzpah, dies.

17 June – 1 July 1985


AIDS Awareness Week – a series of workshops, information sessions, open days and a fun-run – is held.

24 June 1985


The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence open their second national reliquary to the public above the Bookshop, Darlinghurst.

25 June 1985


The first AGM of the AIDS Council of NSW is held.

30 June 1985


The Gay Task Force on Immigration holds a fund raising cabaret evening at the Graphic Arts Club.

July 1985


NSW Police Choir sings at a Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) function.

1-7 July 1985

Toronto, Canada

The annual International Gay Association (IGA) conference is held.

7 July 1985


Members of the T-Cell Group hold a “Boys’ Own Bake-Off Contest” at the Oxford Hotel.

7 July 1985


The Sydney Gay Mardi Gras Committee implements a management plan to improve its efficiency and reduce costs.

11 July 1985


The Gay Mardi Gras Committee appoints Brian McGahen as its president, Bill Whittaker chair, Kevin Golding secretary and John Murray as treasurer.

11 July 1985


The Midnight Shift’s application to transfer a dormant hotel licence to its premises in Oxford Street is refused by the NSW Licencing Court.

11 July 1985


A discussion night on AIDS is held at the Lighthouse Coffee Shop-Sauna at 5 Union Street, City.

14 July 1985


The annual Beresford Hotel Fete in Hill Street is held.

14 July 1985


The Mardi Gras Committee rescind their decision to create a position of president because it is unconstitutional. The appointed president, Brian McGahen resigns from the Committee.

18 July 1985   


The Federal Health Minister, Neal Blewett addresses a Gay Rights Lobby dinner.

19-21 July 1985


NSW Police-Gay Liaison Group Hotline seeks information about assaults against gays. 69 calls are received, 53 concerning assault.

22 July 1985


Tony Cooper is elected president of the Gay Business Association.

22 July 1985


The State Rail Authority alters its bereavement leave provisions, replacing the words “de-facto wife or husband” with “de-facto partner”.

23 July 1985


The first official committee of ACON is elected. Lex Watson is President, John Pattinson Secretary, David Lowe Treasurer, and Don Baxter, Gary Cox, Terry Dowd, Ross Duffin, Peter McCarthy, Adam Marriot, Terry Patterson and Gary Pye are on the Committee.

7 August 1985


The NSW Anti-Discrimination Board (ADB) tells Ansett Airlines and TAA that their travel ban on AIDS virus anti-body positive (Ab+) people is illegal in NSW.

7 August 1985


The NSW Anti-Discrimination Board advises people who have positive AIDS virus anti-body test results to keep them secret, following sacking of Ab+ people.

12 August 1985


A new live revue show, Acid ‘n Tonic – opens at the Paddington Green Hotel.

16 August 1985


Richard Turner retires as the editor of the Star Observer. John Wishart is the new editor.

16 August 1985


The Criterion Hotel is under new management and is undergoing refurbishment.

21 August 1985


The Human Rights Commission recommends that in the light of the federal Sex Discrimination Act, the ban on single people adopting is unacceptable.

27 August 1985


Despite warnings from ACON and medical experts that new AIDS legislation will stop people taking the anti-body test, NSW Health Minister Mulock proceeds. The legislation will criminalise a person if they do not disclose their AIDS antibody positive (Ab+) status and doctors if they do not notify authorities of their Ab+ clients.

27 August 1985


The old Newtown Rules Club opens as the Stage Club at 303 Cleveland Street, Redfern. Tommy Brown, the manager, plans to turn it into a private club, with drag shows and screening movies.

September 1985


The Gay City Broadcasters (GCB) move its slot to Sunday 9am to midday on Radio 2RSR-FM (88.9).

September 1985


This month’s issue of Audacity the publication of National Action, attacks the Gay Liberation Quire and the Gay Immigration Task Force.

September 1985


A new AIDS Hotline based at the Albion Street Clinic is now operating. Irwin Diefenthaler, co-ordinator, says the hotline will provide easy access to factual information and advice.

3 September 1985


A drug called Ecstasy is reported in the Star Observer.  It is now spreading from psychotherapist use to US college campuses.

12 September 1985


State delegates from Gay Immigration Task Forces meet with the Immigration Minister, Chris Hurford and Liberal Senator Chris Puplic and other politicians and bureaucrats. They get an undertaking that gay relationships will be treated compassionately without discrimination.

14 September 1985


The first ACON education forum for people interested in doing work in the AIDS education area is held at the Learning Community Centre, corner William and Riley Streets.

21 September 1985


The Knights of the Chameleon’s 23rd Annual Ball is held. The outgoing Empress of Sydney is Terry Goulden.

21 September 1985


The Gays Counselling Service (GCS) holds it Sixth Annual Workshop on the Counselling Aspects of AIDS at the Sydney AIDS Clinic 150-154 Albion Street, Surry Hills.

21 September 1985


The first formal meeting of  the Sydney Gay Youth Group is held at the Gay Centre as an attempt to provide a place for young lesbians and gay men to meet and come out.

28 August 1985


Being a Prostitute: Prostitute Women and Prostitute Men by Roberta Perkins and Garry Bennett is released.

28 September 1985


The Family Ball, the annual costume ball is held at the Roundhouse, UNSW.

October 1985


The Australian Dental Association (ADA) suggests dentists who are concerned about the transmission of AIDS, ask patients if they belong to a high risk group.  The ADA recommends gloves, but not necessarily a face mask.

October 1985


The Synod of the Anglican Church adopts a report which recommends that unrepentant practising gays should be barred from every form of ministry with the church. It also seeks to remove anyone connected with the gay group AngGays, from the church and to set up a counselling service to cure homosexuals of their homosexuality.

October 1985


The national AIDS Task Force head, Professor David Pennington gives an ambivalent welcome to news that French researchers find that cyclosporine halts the spread of the AIDS virus.

1 October 1985


A 1,000 strong candlelight rally and vigil Fighting for Our Lives begins at Green Park and finishes at Parliament House with the aim to demonstrate dignity and determination to fight AIDS. It is organised by Sydney Aldermen McGahen and Johnston.

1 October 1985


An anonymous donor gives $1m toward the construction of a new immunology centre at St Vincents Hospital.

2 October 1985


Sydney City Council Alderman Craig Johnston is expelled from the ALP for voting against a deal which gives the ALP and Liberal Parties, control of the Sydney City Council.

2 October 1985


Actor Rock Hudson dies from a AIDS related illness.

12 October 1985


Sleaze Ball is held at the Hordern Pavilion. Peter Tully, Jeff Hardy designs the look, Robert Lake designs the lighting and the DJ is Stephen Allkins.

14 October 1985


Gay community leaders, broadcasters and journalists attack a Channel 10 AIDS documentary which includes allegations that a group of gays are deliberately infecting blood banks.

14 October 1985


ACON opposes the growing tendency in the US and NSW to legislate to close sex-on-premises venues, arguing that these venues are an appropriate and easy way to educate clients.

19 October 1985


The Gay Solidarity Group picket the New Zealand Tourist Centre in support of a bill to decriminalise consenting sexual activities between NZ men over 16.

22 October 1985

San Francisco

Dan White, the former city supervisor who in 1978 shot dead openly-gay fellow supervisor, Harvey Milk, commits suicide.

27 October 1985


Gay City Broadcasters go to air for the last time.

November 1985


Amendments to the Liquor Act introduced into Parliament bans “drug dealers, sexual perverts, deviants or child molesters” from licenced premises and makes it an offence for a licensee to allow these people on to their premises.

November 1985


A Gallop Poll reveals 91% of Australians want people suspected of carrying the AIDS virus to undergo testing.

November 1985


Sources in the Health Department tell the Star Observer that cuts in funding to the Albion Street AIDS Clinic reflect the Department’s dissatisfaction with the Clinic’s administrative capacities and some of its activities.

November 1985


New instructions issued by General Sir Phillip Bennett, Chief of the Defence Forces Staff mean that defence force personnel will no longer face automatic dismissal for gay conduct.

November 1985


Professor John Dwyer at the University of NSW tests AIDS “victims” (sic) with Interleukin – 2.

November 1985


Dr Luc Montagnier, the first scientist to isolate the AIDS virus states that the virus can be transmitted when saliva is exchanged when kissing.

3 November 1985


The 11th Poly-lympics is held at the Macquarie University Sports Oval.

8 November 1985


The Equal Opportunity Tribunal awards Troy Morrison of Salt Ash damages of $200 from the Newcastle Gallipoli Legion Club after he was refused service based on his homosexuality in February 1984.

15 November 1985


Roger Edwards and Lionel Muller return to join Donna Asensio as managers of the Beresford Hotel.

18 November 1985


The annual BGF Dinner is held at the Oxford Restaurant with guest of honour, Ita Buttrose.

30 November 1985


Mr Gay Sydney Grand Final and Party is held at the Paddington Town Hall.

15-16 November 1985           


The first National AIDS Conference is held.

December 1985


David Steven’s film, The Clinic screens on Channel 7 after months of wrangling with the Film Censorship Board over cuts to the film.

December 1985


The Crimes (Amendment) Ordinance institutes an equal age of consent and removes the last punishments for homosexual sex.

1 December 1985


A Rats Party is held at Luna Park.

3 December 1985


The Castanet Club open a season at the Belvoir Street Theatre.

6 December 1985


The 1985 Summer Swimming Carnival opens at the Domain Pool.

7 – 8 December 1985


Fund-raising events to raise money for the Royal Newcastle Hospital AIDS ward are held at the Criterion Hotel and Pipers Disco.

9 December 1985


The first meeting of the Department of Employment and Industrial Relations AIDS Working Party is held.

11 December 1985


A Bobby Goldsmith Foundation (BGF) Art fund-raising exhibition is held at 112 Oxford Street.

14 December 1985


The Mountaineers social group presents its Christmas Pantomime at the Lawson Community Hall.

15 December 1985


$1.5 million is set aside in 1986 for AIDS research in Melbourne and Sydney by the Federal Government.

16 December 1985


A motion to support the 1986 Mardi Gras Parade moved and seconded by Aldermen McGahen and Johnston is passed when the Liberals split from the “LibLab” coalition and support the independents.

16 December 1985


Larry Galbraith takes up as Assistant Editor of the Star Observer in 1986.

31 December 1985


The Fitness Exchange moves to its new premises at 33 Wellington Street, Chippendale. The Gays Counselling Service sublets a space for a phone room and a counselling room.


Updated 5/11/15