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

1983 Community groups




Date listed




Acceptance Sydney

51 Holt St, Surry Hills

First listing December 1979

ALP Gay Group

PO Box 380, Broadway

First listing August 1980


POP Box 98, Enmore

First mention May 1980

Armidale Gay Group


First listing September 1980; first listing in 1983 was 29 September;

Armidale Gay Society

PO Box 581, Armidale

First listing 11 May 1983

Australian Gay Hospitality Exchange

PO Box A 361, Sydney South

First listing March 1983




Boomerangs Social Club

Box 94, Broadway

First listing March 1979




Camping Outdoor Group

Easter trip Blue Mts

March 1982

Christ’s Community Church

PO Box 757, Bankstown

March 1983


Kim and Warren

First listing October 1980. First listing 1983 29 September;

City Country Contacts

PO Box 47, Toronto

First Listing April 1983

Clover Business Woman’s Club

 “Rozelle Clubrooms”

First listing August 1980

Coffs Harbour United Gay Group

PO Box 1109 Coffs Harbour

First listing January 1983


c/- Lesbian Line

First listing June 1982

Country Network

PO Box 127, Katoomba

First listing October 1980

Cronulla Gay Group

PO Box 195, Cronulla

First listing 1979

Cross Section

PO Box 184, Punchbowl

First listing March 1983


111 Womerah Ave, Darlinghurst

BBQ listed 25 June 1983




The Dolphins

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

First listing June 1979




Fitness Exchange

51 Holt St, Surry Hills

New location October 1981

Four Seasons Social Group

Coffs Harbour phone number

First listing 16 July 1983

Freelance Bowling League

Rushcutters Bowl

First Listing April 1983




Gay Army

Box 368, Bondi Jct

First listing 14 April 1983

Gay Beginners Group of AA

119 Devonshire St, Surry Hills

First listing December 1982

Gay Business Association (NSW)

PO Box 41, Paddington

August 1981 Election

Gays Counselling Service

51 Holt Street, Surry Hills

Prior to March 1983

Gay Defense Campaign

51 Holt Street, Surry Hills

First listing 19 June 1983

Gay Disabled Club of Australia

Michael Winter 1/165 Booth Street, Annandale

First listing 7 July 1983

Gay Left Discussions

Box 380, Broadway

Est 7 December 1980

Gay Liberation Quire

Box 380, Broadway

First mention 27 June 1981.

Gay Philhellenic Society

51 Holt Street, Surry Hills

First listing April 1981

Gay Rights Lobby

Box 9, Darlinghurst

Established 16 October 1980

Gay Solidarity Group

Box 380, Broadway. Meets first Thursday each month.

First listing 1979

Gay Teachers and Students Group

Box 3, Kingsgrove

First listing Aug 1980

Gay Waves Collective


First mention March 1980

Gays and Trade Unions

Meets AT and AEA, Glebe Point Road, Glebe

First mention march 1983

Gays on Campus (UNSW)

Dance at Stage III Union

First listing 7 May 1983

Group 11

PO Box 610; Penrith

First listing May 1981


51 Holt Street, Surry Hills

First listing March 1983




Homosexual Law Reform Coalition

Box 415, GPO

First mention March 1981

Hullabaloo Theatre Company

34 Parkham Street, Surry Hills

First listing March 1983





51 Holt Street, Surry Hills

First listing 16 May 1983

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 Hikers

51 Holt St, Surry Hills

First notice August 1982




Lambda Sundowners

51 Holt St, Surry Hills

15 June first social meeting. Over 40s

Lesbian Alcoholics Anonymous

164 Flood St, Leichhardt

First listed in OWN September 1981

Lesbian Line

Moves to 3rd Floor, 323 Darling Street, Balmain

First listing December 1980; Moves 27 May 1983;

Lesbian Mothers

Box Box M9, Newtown South

Listing from June 1981

Lesbian Teachers Group

Box 2070 Parramatta North

Listed August – October 1980

Liverpool Lesbian Support Group

273 George Street, Liverpool

First listing 1980. A support group in 1983.




Mardi Gras Task Group 1983

PO Box A483, Sydney South, meets Trade Union Club

Listed June 1982;

Mardi Gras Committee 1983 for 1984

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

Media Steering Committee

51 Holt Street, Surry Hills

First meeting13 February 1983;

Mixed Social Group

51 Holt Street, Surry Hills

First listing 18 April 1983

Mountaineers, The

PO Box 205 Springwood

First mention May 1980




Newcastle Gayline

PO Box 305, Hamilton

First listing April 1983

Newcastle Gay Rap

PO Box 305, Hamilton

First listing April 1983

Newcastle Gay Rights Lobby

PO Box 247, Hamilton

First listing April 1983

New Tradition Dancers


First listing April 1983

Northern Rivers Gay Group

PO Box 696, Murwillumbah

First listing December 1982

Northside Alternative

PO Box 75, Dee Why

First listing August 1980; No listing 1982, re-listed 18 March 1983




Parents and Friends of Gays

Meets at Friends House, 119 Devonshire Street Surry Hills.

First mention May 1980

Pelican Club, The; aka the Central Coast Gay Group

Meets Florida Hotel, Terrigal; c/- PO Wyoming

Listing June 1981

Polynesians Social Club

GPO Box 2935

First listing August 1980





At Majestic 49 New Canterbury Rd, Petersham


Roo Bike Club, The

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

First listing July 1980




Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence

41 Wellington Street, Rozelle

First listing August 1982

Socialist Homosexual Conference Planning Collective

464 Bourke Street, Surry Hills

First listing 3 March 1983

Socialist Lesbians

62a Regent Street, Chippendale

First listed June 1982

South Pacific Motor Club

2 Lilyfield Rd, Rozelle

First listing June 1980

Southern Cross Outdoor Group

PO Box 411 Dee Why

First Listing 14 April 1983

Stonewall Collective

Box K485, Haymarket

First listing December 1980

Summerland Women

Green Winter Farm, Dorroughby

First listing March 1983

Sydney Gay Centre

51 Holt Street, Surry Hills

First mention October 1981

Sydney Gay Men’s Chorus

51 Holt Street, Surry Hills

First listing January 1983

Sydney Gay Radio


First article 4 August 1983

Sydney Gay Writers Collective

PO Box 258, Leichhardt

First mention July 1982

Sydney Group of AA

51 Holt Street, Surry Hills

First listing January 1983

Sydney Technical College Gay Students and Teachers

c/- Welfare Work, Building G, Ultimo

First listing March 1983




Tiara Airlines

Flinders Hotel and the Link

First flight of season 7 August 1982


415 Liverpool Street, Darlinghurst

Forms March 1982





Box 1097, Wollongong

First listing May 1981




Villagers, The

Liverpool Phone number

First listing March 1980





Dance Werrington

First listing 8 May 1983

Wollongong Lesbian Collective

35 Stewart Street, Wollongong

First listed March 1983

Women’s Night

Wed 8pm 51 Holt Street, Surry Hills

First listed SS 3/12




Young Gays

51 Holt St, Surry Hills

New address October 1981


Updated: 14 February 2016 by John Witte using listings and mentions in various 1982 gay newspapers and magazines.


1983 Venues


Venue Name






Nightclubs, Bars, Discos





Bull ‘n Bush

113 William Street, Kings Cross




First listing 7 July 1983

Butt’s Bar

45 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst

“Run by Geoff and Steve”

“upmarket” “downstairs restaurant”

“general and mixed gay”

First ad 31 March 1983


11a  Oxford St, Paddington




First listed September 1982; last listing 8 December 1983;

Fantasy Island

150 Alison Rd, Randwick

Merrill Wheeler, proprietor, owner



Opens July 1982; Last listing 29 September 1983;

Flo’s aka Flo’s Palace

97 Oxford St, Darlinghurst

Roger Claude Teyssedre, Dawn O’Donnell, Alex, Abe Saffron. Peter the Greek Mgr in 1980;

 “First Saturday Night Fever glass dance floor. Touch of desert camp.”

Gay men, gay Asian men,

1979  - 1983 Last listing16 September 1983

Les Girls

2c Roslyn St, Kings Cross

Apsley Investments

Formerly Carousel Cabaret


First listing September 1980

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


33 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst

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

“Sydney’s hottest gay disco”..


From 1976

Peak Disco

1 Newland Street, Bondi Junction

Yvonne Oakey, Marie-France Klein, William Phillips, leased from Comserv (Tosha, Saffron, Buckingham)



“Now open” 28 January 1983; Not listed 26 May 1983;

Pete’s Beat

Crown & Oxford St, Darlinghurst

Peter Langford



First listed May1982; opens? 10 June 1982


504 Elizabeth Street, Surry Hills



“The stylish alternative for women”

Opens 29 January 1983

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 – 1982







Albury Hotel

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

Centre Stage (Glasgow Arms Hotel)

Cnr William Henry & Harris Streets, Ultimo




First ad 30 June 1983;

Criterion Hotel, The

139 Maitland Road, Islington




“Now open” January 1981; first OWN listing September 1982;

Cricketer’s Arms

106 Fitzroy Street, Surry Hills

Brian Buckley ? Manager in 1981

Stumps restaurant upstairs August 1980,


From 1973;

Exchange Hotel

34 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst

Dawn O’Donnell, one of the partners



From March 1981

Flinders Hotel

63 Flinders Street, Surry Hills

Peter Brider. Hosts Peter and Mitch



From August 1980

Honest Irishman Hotel

138 Parramatta Road, Camperdown

Colin Corney



From July 1982

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

Rosie’s Place Bar (Rose of Australia Hotel)

Cnr Swanton and George Streets, Erskineville




First ad 17 March 1983. Last listing 16 September 1983.

Town Hall Hotel Balmain

366 Darling Street, Balmain

Brian Allen and David Viner proprietors 1981


Mixed; Womens Music nights;

First ad December 1981; First listing OWN April 1982

Sussex Hotel



Women’s Disco, Saturday


OWN May 1982;

Terminus Hotel

Cnr Miller and Harris Streets, Pyrmont




First listed 28 January 1983;

Unicorn Hotel

106 Oxford Street, Paddington.

Timothy Berry Licensee,

Mostly male crowd, bar and restaurant.


From October 1979

Male Saunas/Sex on Premises






253 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst

Neil Taylor

“Hunky hot men.”


From 1973

Club 80

19 Oxford St, Paddington

Pobina P/L



First listing August 1980 ; 19 Oxford March 1982; Not listed 12 May 1983;

KKK Katacombs

83 - 85 Anzac Parade, Kensington

David Ross



From 1972. Katacombs May 1982

King Steam

22 King Street, Sydney

Roger Claude Teyssedre and Colin



Reopens  2 April 1983

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






Exiles Bookshop

207 Oxford St, Paddington

Susumu Hirayanagi and Nicholas Pounder

A wide range of gay literature available


Review February 1981

Link Gallery

91 Crown Street, Darlinghurst

David Beschi

Former Link building


Open 14 January 1983

Updated: 14 February 2016 by John Witte using listings and mentions in various 1982 gay newspapers and magazines.



1983 community events


If not in Sydney


January 1983  


The Gay Rights Lobby (GRL) releases its draft Bill to amend the Crimes Act.

January 1983


The NSW Department of Health stops distribution of a pamphlet Boys Growing Up Pt 2, claiming it was too favourable to homosexuality.

January 1983


The Gay Mardi Gras reaches agreement with the producers of Party I and Party II to produce the Mardi Gras Party. Steve Cribb will be the DJ.

January 1983


The Mardi Gras Workshop at the corner of Bourke and Griffin Streets, Woolloomooloo led by Peter Tully, prepares for the Gay Mardi Gras Parade.

2 January 1983


Reverend Don Johnson celebrates his last service at the Metropolitan Community Church (MCC)

14 January 1983


The Link Gallery, Sydney’s first gay art gallery, opens at 91 Crown Street, East Sydney.

25 January 1983


A public meeting hears people’s concerns about escalating violence in Darlinghurst Surry Hills and East Sydney and the inactivity of Darlinghurst police.

28 January 1983


A new lesbian venue – Playground has opened at 504 Elizabeth Street, Surry Hills.

29 January 1983


Police raid the new Club 80. 200-300 are detained for several hours, 30 people are taken to Darlinghurst Police Station and six people are charged. A major campaign of gay groups and individuals is launched.

31  January 1983


300 attend a public meeting in Holt Street to protest against the police action.

1 February 1983


The Sydney Gay Sports League, a group of sports players and supporters, is formed.

5  February 1983


1000 march from Green Park to protest against the Club 80 raid.

5 February 1983


The Peak Disco opens at 1 Newland Street, Bondi Junction.

11 February – 19 February 1983


Our Lives Our Selves Festival for Lesbians and Gay Men is held in the week preceding the Mardi Gras Parade.

14  February 1983


Gay Solidarity Group (GSG) challenges Mervyn Bright’s deportation in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

14 February 1983


The Clinic, a feature film set in an Australian venereal diseases clinic, screens at the Village City Cinema.

15 February 1983


Health in the Gay Community, a workshop covering Karposi’s Syndrome and Herpes is held at the Gay Centre.

16 February 1983


35 women take part in the Grand Lesbian Pub Crawl.

18 & 25 February 1983


Phyllis Diller appears at Patchs.

19  February 1983


20,000 and 44 floats take part in the sixth Mardi Gras parade, themed New Gay Dawning. It is launched by San Francisco City Supervisor, Harry Britt.

19 February 1983


The post Mardi Gras Parade party is held at the AMP pavilion, Sydney Showgrounds. This is the largest party ever held in Australia with 6,000 attending.

26 February 1983


The Sydney Vice Squad led by Detective-Inspector Ernie Shepard raids the new Club 80 again. 11 men are charged with ‘scandalous conduct’.

27  February 1983


500 meet at Holt Street in response to this raid. 300 march to the Darlinghurst Police Station.

March 1983


In response to the 1983 Mardi Gras, the Sydney City Council and the property arm of the Anglican Church agree on a draft management plan for Town Hall Square giving each a veto on the use of the Square.

March 1983


In the wake of the police raids on Club 80, Premier Wran rejects repealing anti-homosexual clauses of the Crimes Act.

March 1983


First of fours issues of the Green Park Observer is published.

4 March 1983


A party at Club 80 raises $4,000 towards the Legal defence fund.

7 March 1983


A successful lesbian night is held at 253 Baths.

8 March 1983 


A Club 80 rally of 200 is held outside Parliament House. Speakers address the crowd in a cage.

13 March 1983


The Task Force, a support group to raise funds for the Club 80 Legal Defence Fund meets at the Sydney Gay Centre.

17 March 1983


A support group co-ordinated by the Gays Counselling Service for men who may be arrested at future raids is formed at a meeting at the Gay Centre.

17 March 1983


The One Extra Company presents Kai Tai Chan’s  Jacaranda Blue –– about the evolution of a gay man - at the Sydney Opera House.

19 – 20 March 1983


The Dykes, the Universe and Everything Show cabaret runs at the Gay Centre

24 March 1983


The Mardi Gras Show/Fun for all the Family exhibition of photography and video of the 1983 Mardi Gras and selected “extravaganza” costumes, opens at the Link Gallery.

April 1983


1st issue of OutRage magazine is published. It is the successor to Gay Community News.

April 1983


John Greenway and John Schwartzkopf from GRL meet Leon Punch, the leader of the NSW National Party as part of the Lobby’s campaign for a new bill to decriminalise homosexuality.

April 1983


The Newcastle branch of the Gay Rights Lobby is launched by 50 people. The convenor is Kerry Bashford and the Secretary is Kim Spurway.

April 1983


Butt’s Bar opens at 45 Oxford Street. It is a licenced bar and downstairs the 45 Steakhouse and Bar.

2 April 1983


King Steam re-opens at 22 King Street, City.

9 April 1983


Pedophilia: A round table discussion is held at the Inner City Education Centre in Stanmore.

10 April 1983


The third Club 80 public meeting is held at the Sydney Gay Centre and forms the Lambda Legal Defence Fund.

11 April 1983


The Sydney City Council rejects an application from the Gays Counselling Service for funding.

13 April 1983


KKK Steam Bath holds a Gala Charity Night hosted by Dennis Scott in aid of the Gay Defence Campaign.

15 April 1983


Gay News, a London based gay newspaper ceases publication.

18 – 22 April 1983


The recently formed Lesbian and Gay Collective at the University of Sydney organise Gay Week 1983.

20 April 1983


Australian Film and Television School’s Franco Di Cheira’s Waiting Round Wynyard a short film about a young man’s first time pick up with another man premiers at the University of Sydney.

21 April 1983


The Supreme Court of NSW rules Club 80 at 19 Oxford Street, Paddington is a disorderly house.

24 April 1983


Jim Dykes is inducted as the Sydney MCC pastor.

24 April 1983


The Knights of the Chameleons present the 2nd Debutante Ball at the Sydney Hilton.

May 1983


A second case of AIDS is confirmed.

May 1983


A small demonstration is held outside the Blood Bank in response to statements by Dr Archer of the Blood Bank.

May 1983


A gay community delegation meets with the Director of Blood Transfusion Service, Dr Gordon Archer and Dr Crawford of the Department of Health NSW.

May 1983


Terry Goulden of the Gays Counselling Service attends a meeting with the head of the NSW Health Commission and Professor Jenny Head of the St Vincents immunology clinic and agree to include the gay community on a working group to monitor and research AIDS in NSW.

May 1983


The Gay Rights Lobby continue lobbying State Parliamentarians, meeting with Rosemary Foot, the Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party.

6 May 1983


A front page article in The Star reads, “Fear and Loathing in America: AIDS inevitable here”. It gives the latest US descriptions of AIDS and ways to reduce risk.

13 May 1983


Man into Woman … the trans-sexual experience premieres at the Academy Twin Cinema Paddington.

15 May 1983  


The AIDS Action Committee (AAC) is formed in Sydney. Lex Watson is the chair.

21 May 1983


The Star re-publishes an article prepared by the Bay Area Physicians for Human Rights.

27 May 1983


Lesbian Line and coffee shop move to 3rd Floor, 323 Darling Street, Balmain.

28 May 1983


The Fitness Exchange holds a Lambda Legal Defence Fund fundraising dance themed, A Debutante’s Ball at the Gay Centre.

29 May 1983


60 Minutes television program screens a sensationalist segment on AIDS.

June 1983


The Gays Counselling Service, Twenty-Ten, the Transsexuals Association and the Gay Rights Lobby begin work on a joint submission to the NSW Government Inquiry into Prostitution.

June 1983

New York

The first international lesbian/gay health conference is held.

June 1983


GM Productions present Party III at the Sydney Showgrounds.

June 1983


The Exchange Hotel can now open until 2 am under new licensing hours.

June 1983


The Oxford Hotel can now open until midnight on Sundays under new licencing hours.

2 June 1983


The Gay Rights Lobby meets with Paul Landa, the NSW Attorney General as part of their ongoing law reform campaign.

19 June 1983


The first public meeting on AIDS, Action Against AIDS, is held at the Sydney Gay Centre. At least 23 organisations and businesses attend and adopt a pro-active strategy of research, media releases, government and community support.

20 June 1983


A constitution of the Sydney Gay Mardi Gras Association is approved at the organisation’s AGM. It allows for a Committee to organise the Mardi Gras and a membership to assist with its work when required.

23 June 1983


The Glasgow Arms Hotel advertises its Centre Stage as a gay venue.

24 June 1983


A Stonewall Dance is held at the Burland Community Centre, King Street, Newtown.

25 June 1983


The 1983 International Day for Lesbian and Gay Male Freedom is held in Parramatta with the march commencing at the railway station and ending with a picnic in Parramatta Park.

26 June 1983


A public forum organised by the Gay Defence Campaign (previously Club 80 Raid Task Force) discuss Law Reform, Community Development and AIDS.

28 June 1983


The Stonewall cabaret, Gay Art Attacks, is held at the Gay Centre.

29 June 1983


Fred Nile calls for all gay men to be quarantined.

29 June 1983


The Stonewall Week screening of Word is Out is banned by the Parramatta City Council. The Stonewall Collective lodges a complaint with the ADB.

30 June 1983


An evening of lesbian films is held at the Liverpool Women’s Health Centre.

July 1983


The AIDS Action Committee sets up Doctor Watch to monitor medical and paramedical responses to AIDS.

July 1983


After the collapse of the Sydney Gay Sports League, Sydney is without a gay sports association.

5 July 1983


Icebreakers a new gay men’s and women’s social group announce weekly meetings at the Gay Centre.

6 July 1983


The AAC requests its role on the NSW advisory AIDS committee be upgraded after it was relegated to merely writing material about AIDS.

6 July 1983


A local social group, Summerland Gay People, is formed.

8 July 1983


Australia’s first death from AIDS, a gay Australian man living in the US, occurs at the Prince Henry Hospital.

9 July 1983


The Belmore Hotel closes.

13 July 1983


The AIDS Support Group is formed by the Gays Counselling Service, Acceptance, Metropolitan Community Church and the Gay Disabled Club.

15 July 1983


The Australian Minister for Health Dr Neal Blewett is critical of the June 11 1983 Journal of the Australian Medical Association for its prejudicial and sensational approach to AIDS cases. He announces an expert working party on AIDS that will be chaired by D.G. Pennington, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Melbourne.

15 July 1983


The AAC dismisses the CMI Multitest for AIDS at teaching hospitals as “worthless”.

16 July 1983


Young Gays Sydney discuss AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases at the Gay Centre.

18 July 1983


The 1984 Mardi Gras Committee is Brian McGahen, Philip King, Marty O’Neil, David Wilkins and Allan Deith.

21 July 1983


A fire caused by an electrical fault severely damages the Beresford Hotel.

21 July 1983


A benefit night for the Lambda Legal Defence Fund is held a the Midnight Shift.

25 July 1983


Deportation order against GSG member Mervyn Bright is revoked.

August 1983


Flo’s Palace closes after alleged licensing law breaches.

August 1983


A report released by Twenty-Ten reveals alcohol consumption by young gay males is five times and by young lesbians is twenty times higher than the national average.

August 1983


A ban by telephone technicians on the handling of equipment used by telephone exchange operators for fear they will catch AIDS is revealed to be a hoax perpetuated by the straight press.

August 1983


The NSW Government announces a $84,000 grant to St Vincents Hospital to fund a research project into AIDS.

4 August 1983


Sydney’s first hotel for lesbians, the Belmore Park Hotel, opens.

6  August 1983           


The Hiroshima Day Rally of 15,000 is opened by the Gay Liberation Quire. There is a large Enola Gay contingent.

15 August 1983


AIDS: A Public Forum is held at Paddington Town Hall. The speakers are Associate Professor Ron Penny, Dr David Cooper, Professor David Pennington, Dr Trevor King and Terry Goulden and Lex Watson. 500 attend.

20 August 1983


A dinner at the Gay Centre celebrates the 10th anniversary of the Catholic gay group, Acceptance.

21 August 1983


The AAC working group meets and discusses setting up a national AIDS committee and hears of the experience of the San Francisco AIDS and KS Foundation.

24 August 1983


The second meeting of the NSW government’s AIDS consultation committee is held.

27 August 1983


Police raid the “old” Club 80 at 48 Little Oxford Street. 11 men are handcuffed and taken to Darlinghurst Police Station and charged with scandalous conduct and indecent assault on a male.

27 August 1983


A support group assemble outside Darlinghurst Police Station until the Club 80 arrestees are releases at 4 am.

27 August 1983


A public meeting is held at the Gay Centre to repeat demands to the Premier, the Attorney-General and the Police Minister to drop all charges, repeal anti-gay sections of the Crimes Act and to stop police harassment against gay people. The meeting organises a 11 pm rally to protest the raids which goes from Taylor Square to Whitlam Square and back to Taylor Square with a sit down in the middle of the intersection.

27 August 1983


The last function of the Pelican Club is held.

September 1983


Max Pearce is elected to Woollahra Council and is the first openly gay man elected to NSW public office.

2 –  4 September 1983


The Ninth National Conference of Lesbians and Homosexual Men is held.

2 September 1983


A meeting of AIDS Action groups meeting is held as part of the 9th National Conference. It meets with the Federal Minister for Health, the Director General of the Department of Health and Professor Pennington and discuss a formal liaison and involvement in federal decision making over AIDS relation questions.

2 September 1983


FM Sydney Gay Radio begins broadcasting.

4 September 1983


Fuck Art … Lets Dance benefit party for Twenty-ten and the Star is held at 85 Commonwealth Street.

7 – 20 September 1983


A tent embassy is set up outside Premier Neville Wran’s home in Wallis Street, Woollahra. Subsequent embassy events include a gay cake and jumble sale, an official garden party and a dog show.

11 September 1983


Women Together a new social group for women holds its first event.

17 September 1983


The 1983 Gown of the Year Award and 10th Empress of Sydney is held at Kei-Ron.

19 September 1983


200 people attend the Hormones or Jeans – The Gay Liberation Quire Goes Down On Vinyl launch at the Gay Rights Embassy.

20  September 1983


The Gay Business Association 1,000 strong rally Gay Bars Should Not a Prison Make is held at Hyde Park and goes to to the State Parliament. The Gay Rights Embassy leads the rally.

26 September 1983


18 men sign declarations that they had committed illegal acts with other men as a protest against the Club 80 raids. The first two are delivered personally to Detective Inspector Shepherd of the Vice Squad.

29 September 1983


Lesbian comedy duo Mary Hartman/Mary Hartman launch the first Australian anthology of gay writing, Edge City on Two Different Plans, at the Town Hall Hotel.

30 September 1983


The renovated Midnight Shift opens.

October 1983


Australian Democrat Senator Don Chipp places a number of questions on notice in the Senate concerning discrimination against gays in the defence forces.

October 1983


The Darlinghurst Community Youth Support Scheme employs David Cook, a gay man as its new Project Officer. Workshops on health for young gay males are held in November.

October 1983


Detour is forced to close because of alleged breaches of the Liquor Act.

October 1983


A group of gay prisoners publish Inside Out a newsletter linking other prisoners and the gay movement.

October 1983


Mr Gay Sydney 1983 is Shaun Roney, the Patchs entrant.

October 1983


Plan 8 – Phil Colville keyboards and Cat Critch vocals – perform on Sundays at the Albury Hotel.

8 October 1983


A bus transporting the Pattaya Beach Show and Les Girls crashes and burns. The props are lost, but the members of the show escape unharmed.

12  October 1983


NSW Branch of the Australian Railways Union informs its members, after agitation by gay members, that it has negotiated privilege travel passes be issued for the employee and one other, not just married partners.

15 October 1983


The 1983 Sydney Sleaze Ball is held at the Sydney Showgrounds. A liquor licence for the event is granted to the Gay Mardi Gras Committee against police objections.

18 October 1983


Rose’s Turn, starring Rose Jackson and written and directed by David Mitchell and David Penfold opens at Kinselas.

21 October 1983


Michael Winter of the Gay Disabled Club announces a project – Through the Door – an accessibility guide to venues, services, clubs and groups in Sydney.

27 October 1983


The Beresford re-opens after a recent fire.

30 October 1983


Gayfair is held at the Shannon Reserve, Crown Street, Surry Hills.

November 1983


Charges against three of the four men arrested in the January Club 80 raid are dismissed.

November 1983


The first confirmed case of AIDS in Sydney is diagnosed. He is believed to have contracted the disease in the US and is contact with the AIDS Support Group.

November 1983


Capriccio’s Theatre Restaurant and Function Centre, re-opens at the former Fantasy Island building 150 Allison Road, Randwick.

November 1983


The Liquor Act Reform Group (LARG) is formed to pursue more rational liquor and licencing laws.

2 November 1983


Patchs’ liquor licence is cancelled because of breaches of the Liquor Act.

5  November 1983


Police arrest members of the Paedophile Support Group in raids in Sydney and Melbourne.

7 November 1983


Flange Desire, drag artist dies aged 33.

18 November 1983


The National Health and Medical Research Council Working Party reports four cases of AIDS in male homosexuals and bisexuals.

18 November 1983


Sydney Gay Radio (SGR) ceases transmission after Radio Sydney (aka Radio Skid Row) alleges John Innes of SGR had violated Australian Broadcasting Tribunal Regulations.

30 November 1983


The 1983 Poly-lympics is held at Vale of Ah Park Reserve, Milperra.

December 1983


A Gay Consultation Form is established to advise the Anti-Discrimination Board. Members include, Terry Goulden (GCS), Murray McLachlan (SGMG) and Robert French (GRL).

December 1983


Sydney Rams, a new bowling league for 19 Pin bowling is formed.

December 1983


The ALP Gay Group reports a high number of ALP Branches calling on the State Government to repeal sections 79 to 81b of the Crimes Act in response to its letter writing campaign to Branches.

6 December 1983


The North Sydney Council repeals its policy prohibiting council facilities being used ‘to promote or encourage the practice of homosexual behaviour’.

13 December 1983


Frank Walker, Minister for Youth and Community Services, opens a centre for transsexuals in Annandale – Tiresia’s House.

16  December 1983


Twenty-Ten receives $56,000 to set up a gay youth refuge to provide medium to long term accommodation.

31 December 1983


Barry Cecchini presents a New Year’s Eve party at the Royal Hall of Industries, Sydney Showgrounds.

Updated 17 October 2015