Chronology

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

1920s

 

1930s

 

1940s

 

1950s

 

1960 - 1966

1967

1968

1969

1970

1971

1972

1973

1974

1975

1976

1977

1978

1979

1980

1981

1982

1983

1984

1985

1986

1987

1988

1989

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

Date                   

Location                

Event

Jan 95

 

The Lesbian Space Project’s (LSP) new Committee affirms its intentions to buy a building.

13 Jan 95

Gundagai

The body of bushranger Captain Moonlight (Andrew George Scott) is exhumed from Rookwood Cemetery and re-buried near where the body of accomplice James Nesbitt was placed in accordance with the bushranger’s last wish.

18-19 Jan 95

 

Roman Catholic gay and lesbian group, Acceptance, refuses to celebrate Pope John Paul II’s visit to Sydney because of his anti-homosexual statements.

Feb 95

 

The NSW Education Minister releases an anti-discrimination policy for schools which addresses lesbian and gay and HIV status harassment and vilification.

Feb 95

 

The experimental anti-viral drug 3TC, for people with a low CD-4 cell count, is made available under the Special Access Scheme.

Feb 95

 

An AGB McNair survey of attitudes of people in Sydney show that 58% thought it was “right” to have a homosexual relationship, 31% thought it was wrong and 11% were undecided.

Feb 95

 

The Office of Film and Literature Classification bans In a Glass Cage an entry in the 1995 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras (SGLMG) Film Festival.

Feb 95

 

Redfern Legal Centre publishes the 5th edition of the NSW Law Handbook with a chapter on lesbian and gay relationships.

Feb 95

London

Rupert Everett comes out in the February issue of attitude.

Feb 95

 

The first sexual health information booklet for lesbians is produced by the Women and AIDS Project at ACON.

Feb 95

 

Tennis Sydney reverses its ban on trany Linda Ferner and allows her to compete at the Mardi Gras Sports Festival.

Feb 95

 

A gay man is awarded compensation from a doctor who denied him treatment because he refused to undergo a HIV test in 1991.

Feb 95

 

A 17 year old former High School student is Sydney’s western suburbs brings a claim of homophobia against his school to the Anti-Discrimination Board.

3 Feb 95

 

A crowd of more than 5,000 gather on the forecourt of the Museum of Contemporary Art to launch the 1995 SGLMG Festival.

3 Feb 95

 

Solicitor John Marsden welcomes Colin John Fisk’s retraction of a statement he made to police that he was a paedophile.

8 Feb 95

 

The first edition of blue with photos of Ian Roberts, Manly Rugby League footballer goes on sale.

12 Feb 95

 

SGLMG Fair Day is held at Jubilee Park, Glebe.

14 Feb 95

 

Perverts Against Sexual Hypocrisy: Out Now’s (PASHON) “kiss in” at Taylor Square aims to draw attention to positive sexuality, the need for legal recognition for gay and lesbian relationships and an equal age of consent for everyone.

20 Feb 95

 

St Vincent’s Hospital opens its new AIDS unit

25 Feb 95

 

The third annual Bobby Goldsmith Foundation Shop Yourself Stupid event is extended to King Street Newtown.

March 95

 

The School Watch Report – A Study into Anti-Lesbian and Anti-Gay Harassment and Violence is launched at Randwick Boy’s High School by the NSW Minister of Education

March 95

 

8 members of the Australians Defences Forces have had their applications for recognition of their de facto lesbian and gay relationships refused, despite the ban on homosexuals being lifted in 1993.

March 95

 

The Advertising Standards Council investigates complaints against a community advertisement for the Gay and Lesbian Counselling Service which features same sex couples kissing

2 March 95

 

Gay and Lesbian Teachers and Students splits as two Executive Committees seek to take control of the Association.

4 March 95

 

Rains keep crowds to 150,000 for the 18th SGLMG Parade, but 4,000 with 140 entries march to the Showgrounds where 20,000 party was described as the best one ever.

5 March 95

 

The ABC telecasts the coverage of the SGLMG parade on Sunday. It includes personalities, Julian Clary, Elle McFeast and Julie McCrossin.

27 March 95

 

Gay and Lesbian Assault Survivors create a forum to share information and support.

April 95

 

Team Sydney announces plans to send 200 participants to the 1998 Gay Games in Amsterdam

April 95

 

An agreement between the NSW Government, the NSW Labor Council and the Employers’ Federation of NSW ) that gay and lesbian couples will be included as “families” for the purposes of Family Leave, is registered at the NSW Industrial Relations Commission (NSW IRC).

April 95

 

Penrith’s lesbian owned nightclub, Nautilus collapses

April 95

 

The Gay and Lesbian Electoral Lobby forms to provide electoral action on gay and lesbian community issues.

1 April 95

 

Independent MP Clover Moore is returned to office, defeating ALP candidate, Susan Harben in the NSW State Elections

6 April 95

 

Bruce Pollack, director and a founder of the AIDS Trust of Australia fundraising arm, steps down after 7 years.

8 April 95

Lismore

The Gay and Lesbian Road Show begins a tour of rural NSW to resource local organisations and hold public forums.

28 April 95

 

A new information kit to help prevent discrimination against people with HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis B and C, is launched by the NSW Department of Community Services.

May 95

 

Dennis Watkins is appointed SGLMG Festival Director.

May 95

Melbourne

Greg Brown is denied spousal benefits from his late partner’s, Commonwealth Superannuation Fund.

May 95

 

Darlinghurst Patrol folds.

May 95

 

Telstra launches a series of advertisements aimed specifically at the gay and lesbian community – “So glad you’re there”.

May 95

 

BGF Secretary, Ian Malloy announces a $188,384 operating loss for 1994.

6 May 95

 

The Queer Youth Cultural Coalition organises a one day literary workshop for young gays and lesbians interested in writing plays, poetry, songs and short stories.

10 May 95

 

Lezbiz (Lesbians in Business) holds its inaugural breakfast for 25 Sydney businesswomen

12 May 95

 

The NSW IRC extends paid leave to employees to care for their same sex partners.

14 May 95

 

15,000 gather for the 12 th Annual International Candlelight AIDS Memorial procession from Darlinghurst to the Domain.

18 May 95

Canberra

Federal Justice Minister, Duncan Kerr announces an inquiry into discrimination against lesbians and gay men to be held under the auspices of the Human Rights and Discrimination Law Centre.

22 May 95

 

Squishy -   an exhibition of works of the UNSW College of Fine Arts inaugural Lesbian and Gay Theory Class is held at the ARTHAUS Gallery in Newtown.

27 May 95

 

Clover Moore MP convenes her first gay and lesbian forum to consult with the gay and lesbian community

June 95

 

Lesbian Line is given notice to quit the Everywoman’s Health Centre in Leichhardt in July after it is announced that the Centre would be sold.

June 95

Gold Coast

The Governor General, Bill Hayden calls for lesbian and gay adoption rights, the recognition of homosexual relationships and the legalisation of active euthanasia in a speech to the Australasian College of Physicians.

June 95

 

Tony Keen steps down from the Presidency of AFAO and is succeeded by Bill O’Loughlin.

June 95

 

Westpac agrees to extend family leave to employees who are in a de facto relationship with a person of the same sex.

June 95

 

An Australian Centre for Lesbian and Gay Research forum Less than the Sum of Us: Representations of Homosexuality on the Australian Screen is held at the Pitt Centre Cinema

June 95

 

The Anti-Violence Project (AVP) launches a training project aimed at reducing the level and impact of violence against lesbians.

June 1995

Canberra

The Australian Council for Lesbian and Gay Rights (ACLGR) meets in Canberra and pursues a range of issues with federal parliamentarians.

7 June 95

 

The NSW Attorney-General announces that his Criminal Law Review Division will conduct a formal examination of the so-called ‘homosexual panic defence’.

9 June 95

 

Ozbears winds up, five years after it was founded,.

19 June 95

 

South Sydney Council’s Local Environment Plan, which aims to reinforce Oxford Street’s gay and lesbian identity, is presented to the Council’s gay and lesbian community consultation committee.

25 June 95

 

The PRIDE Sydney Lesbian and Gay Community Centre at 26 Hutchinson Street, Surry Hills is opened by Federal MP Peter Baldwin and the State MP Clover Moore with an afternoon of celebration

30 June 95

 

Out and Out, the national gay and lesbian radio program folds due to lack of funding.

July 95

 

The NSW Government signs over 75% of the Royal Agricultural Showground to Fox Studios.

3 July 95

 

NSW Premier Bob Carr announces that his government is committed only to specific homosexual reforms – clarifying property transfers during inheritance and hospital access when there is a same sex partner dying in hospital.

3 July 95

Canberra

The Federal Department of Immigration introduces changes to its “Interdependency” visa category which grants lesbians and gay men applying for off shore migration, the same rights as heterosexual de facto spouses.

7 July 95

Canberra

Federal Defence Minister Robert Ray objects to the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) ruling that the army had unlawfully discriminated against a HIV positive soldier.

8 July 95

 

Bev Lange is elected President of SGLMG.

10-14 July 95

Melbourne

Queer Collaborations draws 200 students from across Australia for a week of workshops, plenaries and social activities.

15 July 95

 

SGLMG announces a $167,000 loss and staff cuts and lower production budgets for Sleaze and Mardi Gras parties.

20 July 95

 

The Equal Opportunity Tribunal rules that Newcastle couple, Andrew Hope and Bill Brown and their son are entitled to family cover from their health insurer, NIB Health Fund.

25 July 95

 

Dykes on Bikes Inc votes in favour of having transgender members.

30 July 95

 

The Gay and Lesbian Business Association (GLBA) holds its first Conference Business in the gay Nineties.

Aug 95

 

Sydney’s gay saunas and backrooms announce they will sign a voluntary code of conduct to set minimum safe sex, hygiene, safety and staff awareness standards.

Aug 95

 

Bronte Morris is appointed Executive Director of the Pride Centre.

2 Aug 95

 

As long as I’ve got my doona – a report by 2010 on youth homelessness is co-launched by the NSW Community Service Minister.

6 Aug 95

 

Enola Gay Group participates in a march to commemorate the 50 th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and lesbian activist Zohl de Ishtar later joins a protest ship bound for Muroroa, the French nuclear testing site.

8 Aug 95

 

NSW employers are obliged by law to eliminate discriminatory provisions in partner benefits in all awards and agreements.

12 Aug 95

 

Positive Relief organises a forum to address poverty of people living with HIV/AIDS.

16 Aug 95

Melbourne

The 20 th Anniversary of the first National Homosexual Conference is marked with the launch of an information kit focusing on the major milestones of gay and lesbian history in Australia.

26-27 Aug 95

 

Queerlit 95 Australia’s largest lesbian and gay literary event is held at Rozelle Writers’ Centre.

27 Aug 95

 

200 protest against the Fox Corporation’s planned development of the Royal Agricultural Showground and the absence of a transparent planning and consent process.

31 Aug 95

 

The South Pacific Motor Club (SPMC) folds after 25 years

Sept 95

 

The results of a major US HIV drug treatments trial, challenges the effectiveness of using AZT on its own.

Sept 95

 

The words “sexual orientation” is omitted from the Platform for Action document at the Beijing World Conference on Women.

Sept 95

Canberra

The Prime Minister, Paul Keating announces Federal Government funding and implementation of the 3rd National HIV/AIDS Strategy from June 1996.

Sept 95

Los Angeles

Manly rugby league footballer, Ian Roberts comes out in The Advocate.

2 Sept 95

 

The Sydney Star Observer is published weekly.

9 Sept 95

 

The group, Indigenous or What (IOW) is officially launched and aims to combat myths and provide support for indigenous people living in Australia.

9 Sept 95

 

Labor candidate, Greg Waters and independent candidate Councillor John Fowler are elected to the South Sydney Council.

9 Sept 95

 

Fur Bar , a new lesbian bar opens at 274 Victoria Street, Darlinghurst.

29-30 Sept 95

 

The Emerging Lesbian and Gay Communities Conference explores the lesbian and gay identities in the Asia-Pacific region.

Oct 95

 

Fox Studio’s Chief Executive announces that Fox will guarantee SGLMG access to existing spaces they currently use.

Oct 95

 

The PRIDE Centre takes down any reference to lesbians and gay men from its facade after attacks and threats.

Oct 95

 

PLWHA (NSW) becomes the first HIV/AIDS organisation in Australia to appoint an officer to campaign on treatments issues.

Oct 95

 

Co-President Karen Smith is re-elected and Steve Auburn is elected Co-President at Pride’s AGM.

28 Oct 95

 

NSW Police Minister launches the NSW Police Service’s Gay and Lesbian Police Employees Network which aims to provide support for gay and lesbian police.

Nov 95

 

The Federal Industrial Relations Commission extends family leave to same sex couple under Federal Awards.

2 Nov 95

 

The Communications, Electrical, Plumbing Union steps in to support a gay member, threatened by the manager of Telstra’s Paging Centre for bringing copies of the Sydney Star Observer to work.

4 Nov 95

 

NSW Young Lawyers vote to support legislative change to recognise same sex relationships.

23 Nov 95

 

2 huge red ribbons are hung from the pylons of the Sydney Harbour Bridge to encourage Australians to participate in World AIDS day.

24 Nov 95

 

LSP agree to buy 43-45 Bedford Street, Newtown.

29 Nov 95

Canberra

The Australian Democrats introduce their Sexuality Discrimination Bill into the Senate to make discrimination and vilification against gay men and lesbians unlawful.

30 Nov 95

Canberra

Federal Health Minister Carmen Lawrence announces the government will cut the approval of anti-HIV drugs by up to 2 months.

Dec 95

 

Simon Hunt submits a petition to the Office of Film and Literature Classification urging the removal of “homosexuality” from its list of “adult themes”.

Dec 95

 

Any major changes to the SGLMG parade, now requires development approval from the Minister for Urban Affairs and Planning rather than the South Sydney Council.

Dec 95

 

Telstra is a major sponsor for the 1996 SGLMG Parade.

Dec 95

 

A $600,000 plan by the Roads and Traffic Authority to landscape Taylor Square and improve safety, is announced.

Dec 95

 

Chief of the Defence Force, Lieutenant John Baker, gives approval for a support group for gays and lesbians in the Australian Defence Force (ADF) to have a float in the 1996 Mardi Gras parade.

1 Dec 95

 

The Department of Public Prosecutions clears gay solicitor, John Marsden of child sex allegations, first raised in NSW Parliament in December 1994.

1 Dec 95

Canberra

Federal Cabinet bans people with HIV from being recruited into the Australian Defence Forces.

8 Dec 95

 

Over 200 attend the Representing Sexualities Conference staged at Sydney University.

12 Dec 95

 

The 1996 Mg Guide, with its distinctive 9 silhouette cover design by Brandon Williamson, is launched at the Powerhouse Museum.

14 Dec 95

 

20 protestors greet the Federal Health Minister at an ALP fundraiser, demanding speedier approval of new AIDS treatment drugs.

15 Dec 95

 

Michael Kirby is appointed to the High Court of Australian replacing Justice William Deane.

Updated 31/3/13