1978 : 27 August – Fourth National Homosexual Conference

A Proposal for an Australian Gay Archives

An unscheduled workshop was held on the morning of Sunday 27 August 1978 at the Fourth National Homosexual Conference in Sydney in the Ballroom of the Paddington Town Hall, where the group dragged a table underneath the windows.

It was attended by Graham Carbery and Robert French, and, amongst others, Marie McShay, of the National Archives of Australia and Gay Librarians Group members, Liz Ross and Don Baxter, who had both been active in efforts to encourage libraries to acquire materials that reflected a more enlightened approach to homosexuality. Liz Ross was later to play an important role in the Australian Gay Archives through donation of materials from her personal collection, and in the organisation of some significant collections including the Australasian Lesbian Movement, the National Homosexual Conferences and scientific literature about homosexuality until the mid-1970s.

Graham Carbery presented a one-page document, “A Proposal for an Australian Gay Archives”, which drew on the Statement of Purpose of the Canadian Gay Archives obtained by him in January. The workshop discussed the proposal, and a motion was submitted to establish a gay archives.  At the final plenary session of the Fourth National Homosexual Conference a resolution to formally establish the Australian Gay Archives was adopted, and the records of the conference were deposited with the AGA.