Social Clubs - Overview

From the early 60s to the mid 70s, camp social clubs provided events for homosexual women and men and trans people from all social strata to gather and be themselves.

Ian Maclean was a disc jockey at many of these events.

 


 

Chameleons

Formed around 1963, this group broke the house party model of the day, and organised camp social events focused on drag and fun.

Dennis (Flo) Fuller was a founder and talks about the founding moment. It sought out permanent digs, starting at Diggers Hall in Glebe, then the Dispensary Hall, Petersham and later at the Keiron function centre.

Rae Morris remembers Diggers Hall.

 


 

Pollynesians

A breakaway from the Chameleons, Pollys once hosted a range of social events including the Polympics and still run regular dances.

Ian Maclean recalls a Polympics highlight.

Sue-Ellen explains how Pollys still continues.

 


 

Boomerangs

Formed among drinking friends at a camp friendly bar in the City in the late 60s, the Boomerangs paralleled other social groups in their range of activities.

Colin Wiseman talks about their first shows.

 


 

Motor Clubs

Bike or Motor Clubs started up in the early 70s. The South Pacific Motor Club was the first. The Roos in 1973 and the Dolphins in 1979 subsequently broke away.

Chris Thomas describes the Roos.

Greg Tucker talks about the formation of the Dolphins.

 


 

Clover

Formed in the early 70s, it was a reaction to women being mistreated at a commercial gay venue on Oxford Street.

Jan McInnes and Margaret Cummings describe the genesis of Clover.

 


 

Dykes on Bikes

Many lesbian activists describe adventures with their motorcycles in the 70s. It was not until the 80s and the rise of the Mardi Gras as a visual spectacle that we see the mass formation riding of the Dykes on Bikes.

Katy O’Rourke was around over this period and remembers how this happened.

 


 

The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence

Like Gay Motorcycle Clubs, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence was an American idea that crossed the Pacific and blossomed in Sydney. It was formed by gay activists.

Gary Schliemann talks about how the Sisters came about.

 


 

Gay Men’s Rap

This was a discussion and friendship group among gay men formed at the Stanley Palmer Culture Palace in Darlinghurst in the late 70s.

Two members of the group recall who was involved and what it was about - Mark Matheson and David Urquhart.

 


 

Fitness Exchange

This was a fitness initiative started by members of the gay community.

Mark Matheson was a member and recalls its various incarnations.