University of Technology, Sydney. Friday 24 & Saturday 25 September 2010
A chant of the early gay & lesbian movement –
“Out of the Closets & Into the Streets!
Out of the Bars & Into the Streets!”
provides the theme for a major conference to be held at the University of Technology, Sydney on Friday 24 & Saturday 25 September 2010 on the beginnings of open lesbian and gay activism in Australia. With the public announcement of the founding of Campaign Against Moral Persecution, or CAMP, in September 1970, John Ware and Christabel Poll became the first openly self-identified homosexuals in Australia. The consequences of their action went far beyond that of establishment of one organisation -- it marked the beginning of a gay and lesbian movement in this country.
This conference aims to explore the social, political and cultural background that led to the announcement, and its wider repercussions and consequences. While there will be a focus on Sydney, we want this to be a national conference. Experiences around Australia provide an important contrast and illustrate different models of activism. Within a year of the formation of CAMP, an informal network of organisations had grown up around Australia. Other states too mirrored the split in the movement that took place with the formation of the (supposedly) more radical Gay Liberation groups, especially on university campuses, and the beginnings of an autonomous radical lesbian movement around Australia.
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