Penny Wong
Penny Wong

Recognising LGBTIQ stories of the past and present, with Penny Wong to deliver the closing address.

On the fortieth anniversary of the decriminalisation of male homosexual activity in South Australia, the Australian Homosexual Histories Conference takes place at Uni SA City West Campus from November 13 – 14, the opening weekend of the Feast, South Australia’s Queer Cultural Arts Festival. With recent events in Ireland and momentum building for marriage equality in Australia, the timely theme will be ‘From Outlaws to In-laws.’

The Conference will be opened by the Hon Peter Duncan, Attorney-General in the Dunstan Government, who introduced the 1975 legislation which saw South Australia become the first jurisdiction nationally to achieve gay law reform. The current Leader of the Opposition in the Federal Senate, Senator Penny Wong will be delivering the closing address.

Dr Graham Willett, author of ‘Living Out Loud’, a history of the gay and lesbian movement in Australia, and President of the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives stated, “With this latest push for same-sex marriage we are seeing the latest – although not the last – step in our long march for equality. Forty-five years ago gay people were a vilified, marginalised and criminalised minority. We have challenged all that – and with remarkable success. Understanding how we did that is something historians are well-placed to help us with and in that sense, this conference is an important part of the struggle for equality.”

LGBTIQ stories are increasingly recognised as a significant but understudied part of Australian history. This year’s event will bring together speakers from community, activist, student and academic backgrounds to tell their own stories, remember others’ and reflect on the legacies of queer lives and loves. There will also be a special focus on the experience of ageing in the LGBTIQ community.

The Conference is open for submissions until June 30. Submissions can be sent to  [email protected]

For more information, visit the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives.