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

1986 Community groups

Group Address Date listed
Acceptance Gay Switchboard 212 5247 Ad February 1984
Acceptance Sydney 51 Holt St, Surry Hills Listed December 1979
Acceptance Wollongong Box 470 Wollongong East Listed July 1986
AIDS Action Committee PO Box 9, Darlinghurst Ad July 1984; Listed January 1985
AIDS Council of NSW PO Box 350, Darlinghurst February 1985
AIDS Foundation PO Box 239, Sydney Sth Listed January 1985
AIDS Hotline 332 4000 Listed December 1985
AIDS Workers Information Group Department of Health  
Albion Street Centre   March 1985
Albury: Twin Cities Gay Group Box 98, Lavington July 1986
ALP Gay Group 33 Wellington St, Chippendale Listed January 1985
Angays PO Box 98, Enmore Mentioned May 1980
Ankali 150 Albion Street, Surry Hills May 1985
Armidale Gay Society (TAGS) PO Box 581, Armidale Listed 11 May 1983
Australian National Gay Sports Association Box C497, Clarence Street Listing November 1985
Australian Racing Network 818 2246 Listing July 1986. Interested in racing
Australian Transsexual Association Tireslas House, PO Box 266, Petersham Listed January 1985
Autoguys Box 349, Bondi Listed July 1986
Bathurst: Mitchell Area Gay Society   Box 762, Bathurst July 1986  
Bobby Goldsmith Foundation PO Box 97, Darlinghurst  Mention July 1984;
Bobcats Lesbian Touch Football Team  698 5749 Listed July 1986 
Boomerangs Social Club/Group  Box 429, Darlinghurst Listed March 1979
Camp-us Box 70, Student’s Union, Macquarie Uni   Listed January 1985 
Capricorn PO Box 62, Croydon Park   Listed January 1985
Castaways Social Group PO Box 857, Parramatta June 1985
City Country Contacts Box 47 Toronto   Listed January 1985
Clover Businesswomen’s Club 122 Victoria Road, Drummoyne  Listed August 1980 
Club Universe  PO Box 784, Penrith Listed July 1986  
Coastal Connections  PO Box 259, Toukley  Newly formed November 1984
Coasters Social Group/Club PO Box 440 Murwillumbah  Listed January 1985; 
Community Support Network PO Box 97, Darlinghurst  Formed at meeting June 1984
Compass Club PO Box 757, Bankstown Established 1 February 1983
Contact Leichhardt  Listed January 1985
Council of Gay Groups  Box C369, Clarence St Listed January 1985 
Country Network   PO Box 448, Kingston ACT  Listed October 1980
Cronulla Gay Group  PO Box 195, Cronulla  Listed 1979
Cross Section Haberfield Uniting 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; Listed June 1979
Dungeons & Dragons board, card games night Gay Centre Listing January 1986
Enola Gay PO Box K485, Haymarket   Mentioned March 1984
The Family PO Box 479, Leichhardt Ad for Fancy Dress Ball, September 1985
Fitness Exchange  33 Wellington Street, Chippendale New location October 1981
Foundation Housing Project PO Box 350, Darlinghurst Listed July 1986  
Four Seasons Social Group PO Box 1654, Coffs Harbour Listing November 1985;
Freelance Bowling League c/- 13/35 Roslyn Street, Kings Cross Listed April 1983
Friends of the ADB   c/- ADB Listed January 1985
GAMMA 319 2799 Ad May 1984;
Gays Against Racism PO Box C232, Clarence Street Listed July 1986
Gay Al-Anon Suite 2, 246 William Street, Kings Cross January 1985
Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project   Established 4 September 1986
Gay and Lesbian Counselling Service 319 2799 Listing July 1986
Gay and Lesbian Association (GALA) Union Box 63, UNSW Listing July 1986
Gay Business Association (NSW) PO Box 41, Paddington August 1981 Election
Gay Car Club PO Box 11, Haberfield Listing July 1986. Assist with repairs & problems
Gaycare Counselling Service Wayside Crisis Centre November 1985
Gay Consultation of the ADB c/- ADB Listing July 1986
Gays Counselling Service 33 Wellington St, Chippendale Prior to March 1983
Gay Crisis Network 699 6302 Listing December 1985
Gaycross  203/99 Lilyfield Road, Lilyfield  Listing January 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 Mentioned 27 June 1981.
Gay Mardi Gras Association PO Box 1064, Darlinghurst Listing July 1986
Gay Radio Information News Service (GRINS) PO Box 380, Broadway Listed July 1984
Gay Railworkers Group GPO Box 2183  Mentioned April 1984. Re-name July 1986
Gay Rights Lobby Box 9, Darlinghurst Established 16 October 1980 
Gay Skate Majestic, Petersham Listing January 1985
Gay Solidarity Group   PO Box 380, Broadway Established 1978 see chronology. Address listed July 1986
Gay Teachers and Students Group Box 3, Kingsgrove Listed Aug 1980
Gay Union of Tertiary Staff Govt Dept, University of Sydney Listed January 1985 
Gay Waves Radio 2SER FM Mentioned March 1980
Gay What’s On 699 6320 Listed July 1986 
Gay Wives 569 1108 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  
Gemini Social Club PO Box 34, Belmore Mention February 1986. Canterbury group
Global Penfriends PO Box 343, Punchbowl Listing July 1986
Groupers Dive Club Meets Newtown Hotel Listed January 1985 
Hullabaloo Theatre Co.  Box 635, Sydney Listed January 1985
Icebreakers 33 Wellington Street, Chippendale Listed 16 May 1983
Immigration Task Force 10 Sheppard Street, Broadway Listing December 1985. New address July 1986
Inside Out PO Box 380 Broadway Listed 13 October 1983
Knights of the Chameleons Phone number  
Koornkoo Walkers PO Box 369C Clarence Street, Sydney Listed January 1985
Lambda Sundowners PO Box 206, Dulwich Hill Listed again July 1986
Leichhardt Women’s Health Centre (Lesbian worker) 164 Flood Street, Leichhardt Listed July 1986
Lesbian Feminists c/- 62 Regent Street, Chippendale Listing June 1985
Lesbian and Gay Caucus ACOA 5th Fl 245 Castlereagh Street, Sydney Listed July 1986
Lesbian and Gayline 319 2799 Listed July 1986
Lesbian Line 323 Darling Street, Balmain Listed January 1985
Lesbian Mothers’ Publications Group c/- 164 Flood Street, Leichhardt Listing November 1985. New name July 1986
Lesbian Network PO Box 215, Rozelle Listing November 1985
Lesbian Nurses PO Box 114, Paddington Listing November 1985
Lesbian Research Project and Studies Group PO Box K396, Haymarket Listing November 1985
Lesbian Teacher’s Group Box 209, Drummoyne Listing June 1985
Lesbians Everywhere Support Group PO Box 667, North Sydney Listing November 1985
Lismore Gay Radio 2NCR-FM 92.5 Listing July 1986
Lismore Stonewall Collective PO Box 882, Lismore Listing November 1985
Liverpool Lesbian Support Group 273 George Street, Liverpool Listing January 1985
Macquarie Uni Lesbian and Gay Collective Box 70, Mac Uni Listing January 1985
Mandala Chowan Creek, Uki Listed July 1986
Mardi Gras Committee 1985 for 1986 33 Wellington St, Chippendale  
Metropolitan Community Church Village Church, Paddington (Sun) Listed 1979
Metropolitan Community Church of the Southern Cross St Lukes, Regent & Margaret, Redfern Mention May 1986
Minority Disabled and Handicapped Organisation 40/73 Anglesea Street, Bondi Junction Listing November 1985
Mountaineers, The PO Box 224 Katoomba Mentioned 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
New GAMMA PO Box 57, Islington Listed 1985
New Tradition Dancers Burton and Palmer Streets, Darlinghurst Listed January 1985
Northern Rivers Gaywaves 2NCRFM Listed November 1985
Northshore Voluntarians PO Box 483, Chatswood Ad May 1984
Northside Alternative PO Box 75, Dee Why Listing January 1985
Outreach Ministries International. PO Box A642, Sydney South Listing July 1986
OWLS PO Box K396, Haymarket Listing November 1985
Parents and Friends of Gays 119 Devonshire Street, Surry Hills Group revival call August 1985, active January 1985. Not active July 1986
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 Listed August 1980
Positive People Sydney 319 2799 Listing July 1986. Male sero positive social group
Rape Crisis PO Box 188, Drummoyne Listed July 1986
Road Runners Motorcycle Club PO Box 986, Darlinghurst. Meet Paddington Green Hotel, first Thurs month Listing December 1985
The Rock Hudson Show 2RSR-FM Named December 1986
Roo Bike Club, The Meets Newtown Hotel from 15 July 1983. Listed July 1980
Scamps 3 Swallows Hotel, Bankstown Ad October 1986
Seahorse Club of Australia PO Box 289, Enfield Listing January 1985
Seventh Day Adventist Kinship PO Box 13, Edgecliff Listed January 1985
Sexually Outrageous Women PO Box 236, Strawberry Hill 2012 Mentioned May 1984
Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence 41 Wellington Street, Rozelle Listed August 1982
Socialism, Feminism, and Gay Liberation Conference Collective Phone 5699288 Listing December 1985
South Pacific Motor Club 2 Lilyfield Rd, Rozelle Listed June 1980
South Side Social 50 8850 Listed July 1986
South Sydney Women’s Centre 231 Abercrombie Street, Chippendale Listing November 1985
Southern Cross Outdoors Group PO Box 411 Dee Why Listed 14 April 1983
Stonewall Collective Box K485, Haymarket Listed December 1980
Summerland Gay People Green Winter Farm, Dorroughy Listing January 1985
Sydney Gay Centre 33 Wellington St, Chippendale Mentioned October 1981
Sydney Gay Sports Association 33 Wellington St, Chippendale Ad January 1985
Sydney Gay Youth Group 33 Wellington St, Chippendale Mention first meeting 10 August 1985
Sydney Mardi Gras Association Committee 1986 – 1987 PO Box 1064, Darlinghurst Listed July 1986
Sydney Rams Leichhardt Olympic Bowl Mentioned January 1984
Sydney Road Runners PO Box 986, Darlinghurst February 1985. Male and female riders
Sydney Spokes   Mention September 1986
Sydney University Lesbian and Gay Collective Box 248 Holme Building, Sydney University Ad April 1984
T Cell Group Phone 332 4411 March 1985
Triangle Basketball Club Glebe High School May 1985
Twenty-Ten Refuge PO Box 213, Glebe Forms March 1982
Twin Cities Gay Group PO Box 97 Lavington Listing November 1985
UNITY/Wollongong Box 1097, Wollongong Listed May 1981
University of NSW Lesbians Union Box 67, UNSW Kensington Listing January 1985
Villagers, The PO Box 429, Liverpool Listed March 1980. Disbands February 1986
Voltarians, The Box 483, Chatswood Listed July 1986
Waratah Deaf Association PO Box 1046, Penrith Ad September 1984
West Connections 27 Grainger Street, Mt Pritchard June 1985
Wollongong Gay Christian Network PO Box 470, Wollongong East Listing July 1986
Wollongong Gay Youth Group PO Box 470, Wollongong Listed December 1985
Woman’s Place A 164 Victoria Street, Potts Point 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
Updated: 8 April 2016 by John Witte using listings and mentions in various 1986 gay newspapers and magazines. Please contact Pride History Group if you see errors or wish to make additions.

1986 Venues 



Venue Name Address Owners Notes Clientele Date
Nightclubs, Bars, Discos
Grosvenor Club (Taxi Club) 40 Flinders Street, Darlinghurst   Licensed bar and bistro   Ad June 1984
Handlebar (formerly Pete’s Beat) 80 Oxford St, Darlinghurst   Country style food, service   June 1985
Kennedy’s Bistro Crown Street, Wollongong       Ad January 1984;
Krunch’s 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 Room   First ad 13 January 1984;
Patchs  33 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst Dawn O’Donnell, Roger Claude Teyssedre 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 
Piper’s Nitespot 800 Hunter Street, Newcastle   Moves in December 1985 to larger premises    Previously listed in 1983. No mention in 1984. Ads 1985
Playground 504 Elizabeth Street, Surry Hills   For Women    Ad June 1986
Querelle 273 Crown Street, Darlinghurst       Ad May 1986
Ruby Reds 273 Crown Street, Darlinghurst  Dawn O’Donnell, Roger Claude Teyssedre and Abe Saffron  Where Sydney girls meet. Open nightly from 8pm. Lesbians 1979 – 1986 Becomes Querelle Restaurant
Swensons Restaurant and Night Club  252 Pitt Street, City       Listing July 1986
Tabou 24 Darlinghurst Road, Kings Cross   Tina stars from June 1985   First ad June 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. Goes straight November 1986. 
Brittania Hotel  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
Imperial Hotel Erskineville Rd/Union St, Erskinville       Opens 18 July 1986
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 (+Officers Club) 182 Oxford Street, Paddington Terry Trinick New owners Ross Crich, Josie Cain Under new management March 1986     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  Womens Music nights; Mixed; First ad December 1981; First listing OWN April 1982
Unicorn Hotel 106 Oxford Street, Paddington. Timothy Berry Licensee,  bar and restaurant Mostly male crowd From October 1979; Shillitos May 1984
White Horse Hotel 161 Princes Highway, St Peters Peter Live entertainment   Opens 4th June 1984
Male Saunas/Sex on Premises
253 253 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst Neil Taylor  “Hunky hot men.”    From 1973
King Steam 22 King Street, City       Listed again July 1986
KKK 83 – 85 Anzac Parade, Kensington David Ross     From 1972. Katacombs May 1982
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. Attempts to re- locate in Oxford Street Mid 1986.
 Bookshops, Galleries    
The Bookshop Darlinghurst 207 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst       March 1985
The Bookshop Newtown 186 King Street, Newtown       June 1986
Updated: 8 April 2016 by John Witte using listings and mentions in various 1986 gay newspapers and magazines. Please contact Pride History Group if you see errors or wish to make additions.

1986 Community events


If not in Sydney


January 1986


The AIDS Council of NSW appoints three additional full time staff.

January 1986


Sergeant Brian Geyer is appointed the new head of the Police-Gay Liaison Unit.

January 1986


The Villager’s Social Club disbands following the loss of three committee members.

10 January 1986


Sadista Sisters, a disco, bar, restaurant opens at the Zorba the Buddah on the corner of Goulburn and Dixon Streets, Sydney.

13 February 1986


Pipers Nitespot advertises “under new management” and it is now located at 800 Hunter Street.

26 January 1986


The Recreational Arts Team (RATS) present another RAT party at the Bondi Pavilion.

29 January 1986


Graham Terry, the owner of Brett’s Boys the long established male brothel, commits suicide.

7 February 1986


The 1986 Mardi Gras Festival and Art, Photography and Craft Exhibitions opens at the Mardi Gras Gallery, 121 Crown Street, Sydney.

9 February 1986


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

11 February 1986


Over the Top Theatre Company opens a season of Love, Sex and Romance at the Midnight Shift nightclub.

13 February 1986


An Exposition of Holy Relics at the Bookshop Darlinghurst is blessed and opened by the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence (SOPI)

15 February 1986


The Vancouver Lymphadenopathy-AIDS Study of 700 gay men suggests that the AIDS virus (HTLV III) is unlikely to be transmitted by oral sex.

21 February 1986


The Star Observer changes its masthead to Sydney’s Star Observer.

17 – 23 February 1986


Vito Russo opens the AFI-Gay Mardi Gras Film Festival at the Chauvel Cinema, Paddington.

21 February 1986


The Mardi Gras Swimming Carnival is held at the Boy Charlton Pool, Woolloomooloo.

22 February 1986


10,000 take part in and 60,000 watch the annual Gay Mardi Gras Parade which commences at Art Gallery Road, and proceeds via Oxford Street and Flinders Street to the Showgrounds, where a dance party is held at the Manufacturer’s Hall.

26 February – 2 March 1986


Soft Targets, a play about AIDS is held at the Stables Theatre, Nimrod Street, Kings Cross.

28 February 1986


The recently appointed NSW Minister for Health, Barry Unsworth, visits St Vincents Hospital AIDS unit.

March 1986


The Gay Community Services Trust, formed in 1980, winds up and passes on its funds to the Bobby Goldsmith Foundation (BGF).

March 1986


The Bookshop Newtown opens.

5 March 1986


The NSW Anti-Discrimination Board’s conciliation officer, Greg Tillett is elected ACON President, replacing foundation president, Lex Watson.

23 March 1986


The Gemini Social Club in Canterbury, holds its first dance and show at the Leichhardt Town Hall.

27 March 1986


The federal Minister for Health, Dr Neal Blewett launches AIDS and the New Puritanism by Dennis Altman.

31 March 1986


ACON approaches the Legal and Social Sub-committee of the National Advisory Committee on AIDS (NACAIDS) to hold a conference on insurance after insurance companies propose to deny insurance to AIDS anti-body positive people.

April 1986


Dot and Fanny celebrate two years of their live Tonight Show.

April 1986


French homosexual novelist, Jean Genet, dies aged 75.

April 1986


The NSW Cabinet knocks back amendments to the Liquor Licensing Act which would allow hotels in certain areas to trade 24 hours and discos and night clubs to get licences.

April 1986


Swensons at 252 Pitt Street, Sydney advertises as a gay venue.

5 April 1986


The Gay Immigration Task Force holds a fund raising benefit night at the Leichhardt Town Hall.

6 April 1986


Reverend Gary Walker’s proposal for a new MCC church in Sydney, MCC of the Southern Cross, is realised with its first service.

17 April 1986


ACON holds an open forum on AIDS anti-body testing at the YWCA in Surry Hills.

23 April 1986


Louise Hay, a counsellor on holistic self-healing, speaks at Sydney Town Hall.

25 April 1986


Robert French’s Gays Between the Broadsheets, is launched at the 11th National Homosexual Conference.

25 -27 April 1986           


The 11th and last National Conference of Lesbians and Gay Men is held at the University of NSW.

26 April 1986


The Knights of the Chameleons Annual Debutante’s Ball is held at the Sydney Hilton.

28 April 1986


A national AIDS seminar is held at the YWCA Conference Centre as an adjunct to the National Homosexual Conference. It calls for a national toll-free AIDS information service to reach people who don’t identify as gay.

May 1986

New York

The New York State Department of Health rules out using the AIDS anti-body test for mass screening or as a pre-condition for employment, admission to health care facilities or admission to school.

May 1986


Work commences refurbishing the Marks Pavilion at Prince Henry Hospital to provide a 13 bed unit for people with AIDS.

May 1986


A new research project carried out by the Macquarie University and ACON into homosexual sex practices, gay identity, the sense of belonging to a gay community and gay men’s willingness to adopt safer sex, begins.

May 1986


A monthly community fundraising bingo is held at the Paddington Green Hotel by the Triangles Basketball Club.

3 May 1986


Dr Julian Gold head of the Albion Street Medical Centre, claims that there is “an active homosexual campaign currently operating around Australia discouraging people from being (AIDS anti-body) tested.”

7 May 1986


ACON adopts a policy on anti-body testing.

9 May 1986


Entries close for ACON’S Safer Sex Porn Writing Competition.

11 May 1986


Stuart Dick, the licensee of the Midnight Shift retires, selling his half of the business to partner Jim Winslett.

12 May 1986


209 cases of Category A AIDS have been reported in Australia. 99 people have died.

22 May 1986


A lesbian and gay caucus is formed in the Administrative and Clerical Officers Association (ACOA) NSW Branch.

23 May 1986


The new managing editor of Sydney’s Village Voice is Trevor Reeve.

23 May 1986


Querelle, a nightclub for men and and women at 273 Crown Street, Darlinghurst (formerly Ruby Reds) advertises in Sydney’s Village Voice.

27 May 1986


The new Gay Mardi Gras Association’s Committee is elected.

30 May 1986


Terry Divola, a driving force behind the T-cell Group, dies from an AIDS related illness, aged 38.

June 1986


The AIDS Workers Information Group (AWIG) co-ordinated by the Gay and Lesbian Counselling Service, Sydney STD Clinic, Health Department and Albion Street, meets monthly at the Albion Street Clinic.

June 1986


A research team from Lacennec Hospital shows that cyclosporine is an ineffective treatment for AIDS.

June 1986



Dr Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease reports that an AIDS patient’s immune system is restored using a bone marrow transplant from an identical twin, transfusions of lymphocytes and an anti-viral drug.

2 June 1986


Mardi Gras management committee elects Bill Whittaker as its president, Murray McLachlan Vice President, Kevin Golding Secretary and John Murray treasurer.

6 June 1986


63 newly trained members of the Community Support Network graduate.

6 June 1986


The South Sydney Junior Leagues Club is advertised as a venue for Simone and Monique’s Playgirls Extravaganza.

8 June 1986


Ratarama, a Recreational Arts Team dance, is held at the Enmore Theatre.

11 June 1986


An increase in anti-gay violence is discussed at the NSW Anti-Discrimination Board’s gay consultative meeting.

14 June 1986


The Boomerangs Social Club donates $3,700 to the BGF and the Gay and Lesbian Counselling Service (GLCS)

July 1986


Larry Galbraith is appointed editor of Sydney’s Star Observer.

July 1986


Gay activists rally across the country to protest against the Supreme Court decision upholding state laws against consensual homosexual acts.

July 1986


ACON announces a pilot AIDS Home Care support program which will back up support provided by the Community Support Network.

July 1986


The International Committee on the Taxonomy of Viruses renames HTLV III or LAV as the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).

2 July 1986


The Sydney City Council resolves to prohibit sex in all public toilets “following complaints from local residents.”

3 July 1986


The Sydney Gay Mardi Gras Committee elects Bruce Pollard Secretary and Kevin Golding Treasurer after two resignations.

11 July 1986


The NZ parliament repeals the country’s anti-homosexual laws.

12 July 1986


The Gay Dance Company holds the first of their dance parties at Querelle in Crown Street.

15 July 1986


A meeting convened and chaired by the federal Health Minister Dr Neal Blewett of health officials and gay community leaders urges all individuals at risk of AIDS to seek confidential counselling and the decision to have the test should be made voluntarily.

17 July 1986


The ALP National Conference resolves to emphasise “constructive educational strategies” to halt the spread of AIDS rather than using punitive legal measures.

18 July 1986


The Imperial Hotel opens.

20 July 1986


Tim Berry and Gordon Biggs of the Unicorn Hotel, take on the management of the Balmain Town Hall Hotel.

28 July 1986


Lynda Pace is elected President of the Gay Business Association, the first woman to hold this position.

30 July 1986


The Body Positive group is accepted for affiliation with ACON.

August 1986


ACON moves to its new resource centre at 68 Sophia Street, Surry Hills.

August 1986


Ross Crich (formerly of the Handlebar venue) and his partner Josie Cain take over the Paddington Green Hotel.

2 August 1986


Professor David Pennington, head of the National AIDS Task Force, breaks from the agreed consensus reached with the federal Minister of Health. (See 15 July 1986)

3 August 1986


The Roman Bath relocates to the basement of the Aero store 36-42 Oxford Street Darlinghurst. (see 15 December 1986)

12 August 1986


The Albion Street Clinic outreach bus is attacked by men armed with iron bars, timber and bricks at Green Park.

12 August 1986


Greg Tillett is elected for a second term as president of ACON. Vice president is Robert French, Secretary Peter Connolly and treasurer Peter Collingwood.

9-17 August 1986

San Francisco

More than 3,700 athletes from 15 countries compete in this year’s Gay Games II. Australia wins medals in track and field, swimming, high jump and golf.

17 August 1986


A Tea Dance for the Bobby Goldsmith Foundation (BGF) and the Crystal Carrington Group is held at the Tivoli.

23 August 1986


The 1986 Family Ball is held at the UNSW Roundhouse.

24 August 1986


The Sydney Gay Centre is officially opened at 33 Wellington Street, Chippendale by Mardi Gras President, Bill Whittaker.

28 August 1986


The Police-Gay Liaison Group (PGLG) considers reports of homophobic attacks by small gangs of youths and propose a four point strategy in response.

29 August 1986


The second conference of the National Network of Young Lesbians and Gay men is held.

29 August 1986


Gay Youth in Australia: 1950 – 1980 by Craig Fairweather is launched at the 1986 national Network Conference of Young Lesbians and Gay Men.

31 August 1986


Michael Glynn announces a ‘once only’ forum for people with AIDS and their partners. Health professionals and the press are excluded.

September 1986


The Nine TV Network screens an episode of Flying Doctors which features a character played by Gerard Kennedy who learns he has AIDS.

September 1986


The Erskineville Hotel opens its theatre space, ‘Stage Two” with Simone Troy reviving her Rip Off show.

September 1986


Inspector Denis Dack is the new head of the Police-Gay Liaison Unit.

6 September 1986


A record 6,000 attend the annual Sleaze Ball held at the Royal Hall of Industries. The special guest is US disco star, Sylvester.

8 September 1986


AIDS researcher Brett Tindall tells the AIDS Workers Information Group that a cure for AIDS is unlikely in the near future.

13 September 1986


PRATY, Recreational Arts Team party, is held at Paddington Town Hall.

13 September 1986


The Knights of the Chameleon 24th Annual Formal Ball is held at Kei-Ron. This year’s Empress of Sydney is Alderman Brian McGahen.

16 September 1986


The Police-Gay Liaison Group meets at Westmead Hospital with the intention of learning about the needs of western suburbs gays.

23 September 1986


Murray McLachlan is elected President of the Sydney Gay Mardi Gras Association following the resignation of Bill Whittaker.

October 1986


The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence (SOPI) perform an exorcism of the demon “Hornephobia” at the North Sydney headquarters of the Australia Arts Council, in response to the federal Liberal Party attack on the Council’s making grants to gay organisations.

October 1986


St Vincents Hospital fails to get supplies of the new anti-viral drug azidothymidine (AZT) due to a world shortage of key ingredients.

October 1986

New York

Two new anti-AIDS drugs capable of prolonging life without dangerous side effects – CS85 and ST – are announced 24 hours after AZT is approved by the US federal government.

1 October 1986


Warren Talbott, is appointed national co-ordinator of the Australian Federation of AIDS organisations (AFAO).

3 October 1986


Charly’s bar on the corner of Harris and Union Streets Pyrmont, opens as a new gay venue.

7 October 1986


Fabian LoSchiavo, convenor of Angays, takes part in the Sydney Anglican Synod unchallenged, despite last year’s Synod ban on homosexuals from all forms of the ministry.

13 October 1986


Professor David Pennington argues that all young people be taught the proper use of condoms at the launch of AIDS – Your Questions Answered.

18 October 1986


The second hotline set up by the Police-Gay Liaison Group seeks information from gay victims of harassment or violence by police. 120 calls are received.

18 October 1986


Boomerangs holds a benefit at Pipers Disco for the Newcastle Hospital AIDS unit.

21 October 1986


ACON questions the trial of immunomodulating drug Isoprinosine that was announced by the Albion Street Clinic.

25 October 1986


The Rock Hudson Show aka The Show with No Name, a new radio program targeting a gay and lesbian audience begins broadcasting on 2RSR FM (88.9FM) on Saturday evenings.

27 October 1986


The Gay Rights Lobby makes a submission to the Individual Rights Committee of the Constitutional Commission, requesting the Committee to consider the right of sexual expression and the need for its enshrinement in the Constitution.

31 October – 1 November 1986


The Second National AIDS Conference is held at the Hyatt Kingsgate at Kings Cross and is open to the public.

2 November 1986


The annual Poly-lympics is held at the Macquarie (Uni?) Sports Fields.

9 November 1986


The Beresford Hotel goes straight.

10 November 1986


The Sydney City Council agrees to assist the 1987 Mardi Gras parade by erecting flags and banners and making the end of the march area available free of charge.

23 November 1986


A meeting of people with AIDS and their lovers is held at ACON office in Surry Hills.

23 November 1986


The NSW Ombudsman, George Masterman QC, finds that police taking part in the January 1983 raid on Club 80 had acted “improperly” and “illegally”.

25 November 1986


Steve Cribb, DJ dies from AIDS related illnesses.

27 November 1986


My Beautiful Laundrette, Stephen Frear’s and Hanif Kureshi’s ground breaking movie opens at the Dendy Cinema.

27 November 1986


The inaugural awards dinner of ACON is held at the Midnight Shift.

December 1986


The City of Sydney Council branch of Homecare Service begins to provide a special service for people with AIDS to enable them to stay in their homes.

December 1986


The Australian Public Service adopts a set of guidelines to eliminate anti-gay discrimination against its homosexual employees following negotiations with unions, principally the Administrative and Clerical Officers Association (ACOA).

5 December 1986


Former premier of South Australia, Don Dunstan launches Being Different, a book of personal accounts of homosexual men by Garry Wotherspoon. A performance by Monsignor Porca Madonna at the launch results in uproar from a number of Roman Catholic community figures.

5 December 1986


200 competitors and spectators attend the Southern Cross Outdoors Group (SCOG) 1986 opening of the Summer Swimming Carnival.

15 December 1986


The Sydney City Council allows David Ross to transfer the Roman Bath to 38-46 Oxford Street, providing “unauthorised cubicles” are removed.

31 December 1986


19RATY7 – A new’rs Eve Rat Party is held at Luna Park.

31 December 1986


The Bobby Goldsmith Foundation (BGF) presents the New Years Eve Masked Ball at the Showground Banquet Hall.

31 December 1986


The SLATS’ New Years Eve Party is held at the corner of Fig and Jones Street, Ultimo.

 Updated 26 November 2015