1. Oral History NSW - Seminar
  2. Yorick Smaal - Book Launch
  3. AHHC, Adelaide - Nov 2015
  4. GLBTI Pioneer Names
  5. Rainbow Voices Hunter
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Oral History NSW
AGM & Seminar

Sat 29 August

From the margins to the centre: some major LGBTI projects

This seminar draws on two large and significant LGBTI oral history projects.

Associate Professor Robert Reynolds and Dr Shirleene Robinson are researchers on the first national Australian lesbian and gay oral history project, which is being conducted by Macquarie University in conjunction with the National Library of Australia. The project has interviewed 60 respondents from five different generations, investigating ways in which the experience of being gay or lesbian has transformed over the course of the last 60 years. Shirleene and Robert will reflect on the challenges and rewards of a national Australian lesbian and gay oral history project.

Dr Scott McKinnon will discuss his experiences using oral history as a research method on several projects related to histories of sexuality, covering both university-based and community history projects. In particular, Scott will discuss his work with Pride History Group, a volunteer-run community history organisation that has recorded and archived a substantial collection of oral history interviews with members of Sydney’s LGBTI communities.

The Oral History NSW Annual General Meeting will follow this seminar.  All welcome to hear news about the program of our very active association which promotes the collection and inclusion of oral histories in many types of history based projects.

Date: Saturday 29 August 2015 

Where: Level 1, Sydney Mechanics' School of Arts,  
            280 Pitt Street, Sydney - a short walk from Town Hall Station

Time: Seminar 2 - 3.30 pm  / AGM 3.30 - 4.00 pm

Cost: Seminar: $25, $15 for members / AGM is free to all. 

Refreshments will be served.


Meet the presenters

Dr. Shirleene RobinsonDr. Shirleene Robinson is Vice Chancellor's Innovation Fellow in Modern History at Macquarie University. She is also the President of Sydney's Pride History Group.

Associate Professor Robert ReynoldsAssociate Professor Robert Reynolds is an oral historian who has specialised in histories of gay life. He works at Macquaire University in Modern History and has also trained and worked as a psychotherapist.

Dr. Scott McKinnonDr. Scott McKinnon is a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Western Sydney and honorary research fellow at the University of Sydney. His research background is in histories and geographies of sexuality and gender and his current research investigates the social impacts of disasters on LGBTI communities. He is also the Vice-President of Sydney's Pride History Group.

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Join us to celebrate the launch of Yorick Smaal's book,

Sex, Soldiers and the South Pacific, 1939-45:
Queer Identities in Australia in the Second World War

Sex, Soldiers and the South Pacific, 1939-45

The Pacific War is raging off the Queensland coast and 16-year-old Errol and his friends are enjoying the queer delights of Brisbane.

Elsewhere in the south Pacific, Australian and American servicemen are creating vibrant subcultures on forward bases while other young men, many away from home for the time, are discovering themselves on distant shores. 

Sex, Soldiers and the South Pacific, 1939-45 tells the story of homosex and queer life in and out of the Allied forces and the attempts by civilian authorities and military commanders to control and contain its practice and expression. 

 Event details

4.00 pm - 5.00 pm
Thursday 3 September

Room 5.02 and 5.03, 
Social Sciences Building M10
Griffith University, 
Mt Gravatt campus

Featured speakers from 4 - 4.30 pm
 followed by drinks and canapés



Featured speakers include

Professor Robert Aldrich
(The University of Sydney)

Professor Christina Twomey
(Monash University)



RSVPs essential
Register your attendance by
Thursday 2nd September 

Yorick SmaalAbout the Author

Yorick Smaal is ARC DECRA Research Fellow at Griffith University, Australia.

He is an Australian social historian with particular interests in sex and gender, war and society, and law and criminal justice. 


Australian Homosexual Histories Conference 

Friday 13 – Saturday 14 November 2015

In 2015 South Australia celebrates the 40th anniversary of the decriminalisation of gay male homosexual activity, the first Australian state to do so. The Conference will be opened by Peter Duncan, the Attorney-General in the Dunstan Government who introduced the 1975 legislation.

The Conference coincides with the opening weekend of Feast, Adelaide’s Queer Cultural Festival, and will conclude with the Adelaide Pride March and Feast’s Opening Night Party.

We invite you to be stimulated and inspired by participating in the Conference and associated events.

The Call For Papers is available now. Submissions are due by 31 July.

You can Register to attend now, with early bird pricing available until 30 September.


It is now 45 years since the formation of the first openly gay and lesbian groups in Australia.

It took a lot of courage for those first men and women to stand up and not only publically self identify as homosexual but to then declare that they were neither sick nor sinful and to demand that gay male sexual behavior no longer be regarded as criminal.

But, who were they?

Today, two generations on, many of those brave men and women are all but forgotten.

Sydney’s Pride History Group has created this List of Pioneer Names in order to maintain memory of them.

For the most part, the list is based on published sources such journals like CAMP Ink and the Sydney Star as well as the minutes of organisations like CAMP NSW, and on the memories of those who were involved.

Some names have been withheld because we believe membership of their organisations remains sensitive but throughout this List we invite members who may wish to have their names included to contact us.

Conversely, if you wish to have your name removed contact us and we will do so.

This is not a definitive list but the beginning of an on-going project for the Group.


the Hon. Clover Moore launches the Pioneer Names Project 20 June 2015. Image: Scott McKinnon.

The Pride History Group wishes to thank the Hon. Clover Moore, Lord Mayor of Sydney for launching the Sydney LGBTI Pioneer Names Project on Saturday 20 June 2015 at the Stonewall Hotel in Darlinghurst.

We greatly appreciate the continued support of Clover Moore and the City of Sydney Council.

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Next General Meeting

21 September, 2015 - 6.30pm

2015 General Meetings - 19 October, 16 November, 21 December

2016 General Meetings - 18 January, 15 February, 21 March, 18 April, 16 May, 20 June

2016 AGM - July 2016

Members and visitors are invited to our meetings at St Helens Community Centre, 184 Glebe Point Road, Glebe (yellow meeting rooms next to Benledi)

Welcome to the Pride History Group

We are a community history group which collects information about Sydney's LGBTIQ past.

Although members of the GLBTIQ community have made rich contributions to Sydney life, many of these contributions have been forgotten or erased from the broader historical record. We aim to correct these omissions by unearthing, recording and preserving material that relates to LGBTIQ people in Sydney's past. 

We also like to engage the broader community with the material we collect. Some of the ways we have done this include books and community talks.

We are a voluntary organisation with members who meet monthly (become a Member), and we are always keen to hear from people who would like to be involved and help us to record and preserve Sydney's LGBTIQ histories, please contact us.

Oral History Collection

Coming Out into a Hostile World

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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Australia's First National Coming Out

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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Leichhardt/Dykehardt Exhibition

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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And The Beats Go On

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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78ers Honor Roll

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.

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