Homosexuality in other collections

A number of other resources are listed below, including material held in collections at the University of Melbourne other than the Archives. To access any of these, click on the link under collection title.

UMA collections

Collection Reference Number

Collection Title

Unit Number (where applicable)

Notes by Dr Kathy Sport



1 Unit

Most items in this box originate from NSW and S.A. and illustrate the movement’s network and reach.

(1) Gay Liberation Front A4 Leaflet (n.d. and no identifier). Advertises CR Group meeting on campus in the Graduate Lounge to discuss sexual liberation. Sample text: “Gay means sexually free. Gay is good for all of us … CR groups are the guts of the movement ... Humans have a natural right to diversity”. At the bottom of the leaflet is the chant “2, 4, 6, 8 Gay is twice as good as straight.”

(2) Lot's Wife broadsheet, published by Monash Uni, supplement 2nd August 1976; article titled ‘Manifesto of the Socialist Homosexuals’ poses the question, how does homosexuality relate to sexism?

(3) C.A.M.P. NSW newsletter, Nos. 43, 44 (1978-79). Newsletter indicates political tension between CAMP and GayFed. There are many gay lobby groups at this time; for example, Gay Trade Union Group, Gay Task Force, Gay Solidarity Group, UNSW Gay Soc, NSW Teacher and Student Group and so on.

C.A.M.P. NSW newsletter, Number 44, Jan 1979 – covers the possibility of CAMP withdrawing from GayFed. There is discussion about the role and purpose of CAMP as a lobby group and the need to avoid alienating good public opinion believed to be achieved by the gay liberation movement. Women are debating whether to meet nights without men. The newsletter shows that on campus there are women action theatre performances and lesbian and homosexual speakers.

(4) Adelaide Homosexual Alliance (AHA) newsletter.

No. 1 Jan/Feb 1979 shows the role of Union Bookshop as a place to buy gay books. In Adelaide there was a Gay Liberation book service, Doctor Dunstan Revolution Bookshop (140 King William Rd Hyde Park 5061).

No. 3 March 1979, reports that in Queensland, Greg Weir is fighting for the right to teach. The Australian Union of Students (AUS) underwrites the legal costs.

AHA Newsletter No. 4 April 1979

"Is Lilly Law Making A Comeback" about harassment on gay beats after decriminalisation in S.A. The article suggests that after decriminalisation of homosexuality in S.A., the relationship between the gay community and the police generally improves; petty harassment by the police and decoys on beats are halted. But then starts up again.

Article about banning of book Young Gay and Proud in Victoria. The Victorian Education Minister writes to schools advising that books seeking to foster ‘homo behaviour’ should not be available to children. The (then) Victorian Premier Dick Hamer (Liberal Party 1972-1981) sides with anti-gay reactionary community groups pushing to ban the book and shore up the Catholic vote. Hamer introduces harsher penalties for 'homosexual street offences' loitering and soliciting. Reactionary lobby groups, such as the Committee to Raise Educational Standards, petition the Minister to ban the book and push for gay teachers to be sacked.

AHA Newsletter No. 5 May 1979 reports that after Dunstan resigns due to ill health the police became active again on beats, which prompts an activist political campaign to stop their surveillance activity.

(5) Unpublished typed document. Festival of Light fears homosexual activists seek to destroy family life, which is entitled (in their view) to State protection.

(6) Untitled, unpublished article (n.d., circa 1972) written by S.A. academics, says that the law is inconsistent - females are outside criminalisation on the basis of sexuality and gays are easy victims of theft, violence, and blackmail.

(7) Pamphlet, published by Sydney University Communist Group, contains two articles on Homosexual Liberation by David Fernbach, 1973.

(8) Gay Solidarity Week Program of activities, 1979 and Gay Solidarity, Newsletter, 1979.

(9) Homosexual song and chant sheet of lyrics.

(10) Advertisement for Urania Manuscripts by Karl Heinrich Ulrichs.

(11) Booklet published by AUS, (1979) Homosexuals and Children, includes article, ‘Men loving boys loving men’.

[Note: these notes are a guide only]



48 pp.

Judy's Punch was a feminist magazine published (annually) by UMSU (Student Union) Women's Department until 2006 when it ceased. Resumed as a blog 2103 and then hard copy 2014 to present day.

Women from Monash and Melbourne Uni produce this 1992 Issue jointly and it includes an interview with Barbara Falk (Historian and Director for the Centre of Higher Education) who talks about her experience of academia, class and gender.

List of women’s resources (on the back page): Lesbian Line, Gay and Lesbian Switchboard, Lesbian Collective on campus, Sexual Assault Line, Women’s Culture, Gallery, Bookshop, Women’s Health, Legal, Sexual Violence and Incest, Counselling Services and so on.

Judy's Punch issue 2015 is available online and contains an article reflecting on feminist histories and feminist activism during the 1980s.



97 pp.

1995 Issue has glossy cover and is smaller size than earlier issues.

Article on lesbians and gay men in Taiwan. Other items on women’s circus, women’s health, sexism, women and the law (domestic violence, rape cases, courts, poor decisions by judges, justice system works against women and they sometimes taking law into own hands).

other University collections (non UMA)

Collection Reference Number

Collection Title


378.945 FARR


Gay Issue

Vol. 54 No. 11 June, 1976

‘How Dare You Presume We’re Heterosexual’ (front page headline).

Issue prepared by UM GAYSOC.

  1. Feature Article, ‘Gay is Good’ (p.9) by Martha Shelby calls for understanding rather than tolerance and says the worst part of being homosexual is keeping it secret.
  2. ‘Lesbians Are Everywhere’ (p.14) by Charlotte Bunch (this article is an excerpt from Lesbianism and the Women’s Movement, 1975, Diana Press).
  3. Article by Jamie Gardiner on gay books and readings (p.15)
  4. Adverts for social events: UM Gay Society - Gay Dance featuring the Millionaires 18 June 1976, Trophy Hall, Beaurepaire Centre, Melbourne University cost $2.
  5. List of gay groups and organisations (p.16): Woolshed Bar (Hotel Australia) Dover Hotel, Union Hotel, Hollywood Hotel (Elizabeth St), Cassidy’s nite-spot (cafĂ©) Queen St in the city.
  6. Society 5 clubrooms at 270 Lonsdale St, Beat Disco every Friday night. Society 5 also had a library and did legal work and operated a phone service.
  7. Gay Teachers Group formed after 1st National Homosexual Conference 1975 (rights of gay teachers and social events).
  8. Advert, Women’s Group in Springvale (PO Box address).
  9. Checkmates Club holds 10 social events per year and by word of mouth.

378.945 FARR


Vol. 54 No. 16, July 1976

Campaign against sexism conducted on campus by UM Women’s Lib Group.

UM GAYSOC – Gay Dance features Dragon, Brother Sunshine Light Show and Tim McKew, Friday 30 July.

378.945 FARR


Vol. 54 No. 5, April 1976

Article (p.2) about the UM Assembly Sexuality & Human Relations Working Group paper on teaching of sexuality in the University. Focus on four faculties and on contraceptives.

Ombudsman Working Group met during 1975 and as a basis for discussion used the Appendix to the Working Group (1973) report to Council by Julian Phillips (no detail given).

Advert (p.13) UM GAYSOC meeting in the Priestly Room: described as an encounter group, a dance/social collective, and a sexual political discussion, music and publicity group.

Article (same page) says that homosexuality is ‘acceptable’ as a lifestyle but attitudes have moved from hostility to smugness and disguised pity. Worse still is intellectualising ‘tolerance’.

378.945 FARR



Vol. 57, No. 17 September 1979

September issue Vol., 57, No., 17

‘We’re not all straight in the garden state’ with whole page photo of two young men (p.7).

This issue contains Gay Supplement, (p.8) ‘Gays and the Law’ (small article) argues; “Victoria is still lumbered with laws based on Old Testament prohibitions. For example, gay men may be incarcerated for 15 years for the crime of buggery. Lesbians and homosexuals can be fined under the general category of offensive behaviour. Lesbians denied custody rights for children. Law reform is certainly not the ‘be all’ of gay liberation but it is a major step in undermining the heterosexist attitudes and structures. GAYSOC is a member of Homosexual Law Reform Coalition, which is actively seeking full legal equality for lesbians and male homosexuals … This is a situation that must change”.

Full-page article on GAYSOC (p.10). Describes what the group does (45 members, meet weekly on campus, holds parties and an annual dance). Article mentions not many lesbians in GaySoc and they’d like more. 13 September 1979 is Gay Solidarity Day at UM – asking everyone to wear blue jeans on campus in solidarity of gays – Gay Blue Jeans Day.

Article reassures readers that GaySoc can help with coming out and provides no hassles and no pressure at meetings (they say it isn’t only attended by weirdos!). Also advertises the debate between Fred Nile (Festival of Light) and Lex Watson (spokesperson Gay Rights Movement).

GAYSOC DANCE Trophy Hall, Melbourne University 14 Sept 1979, Boys Next Door. $3, $4.

Same week the Uni holds forums on sexuality, including ‘myths surrounding sexuality, reconciling sexuality and faith etc.

18 October 1979 (p.5)

‘Graduate House Discriminates’ – full-page article on Stokes’ eviction from Graduate House.

378.945 FARR



Vol. 58

Farrago Vol. 58 No.3 March 21 1980

Letter from editor about the establishment (via SRC) of a Women’s Room on campus (one of last universities to do so). The room was ready by the first week of second term, and opened Thursday 26 June 1980 (third floor of Union Building). Maureen O’Brien, editor of Farrago during 1980.

Farrago Vol. 58 No.7, May 6 1980 (p.6), ‘Campus Gays’ short article about the difficulties of being homosexual student. Advertises seminar (on campus) organised by AUS Victorian Campus Homosexual Collective. Held at UM 10 May 1980, topics include difficulties for regional students, how to start a gay group and keep it going and the role of the Campus Collective. Seminar followed by free wine, cheese and films and a Gay Dance at St Marks Hall George St Fitzroy (Monash GaySoc is contact).

Farrago Vol. 58 No.9, 13 June 1980 (p.16-17), two-page spread with several short articles on homosexuality. ‘Acting on Alternatives’ lists 30 Gay Groups in Victoria from Telephone Lines to Women’s Groups, Men’s Groups etc. Campus groups include MU Gay Society, LaTrobe Uni Gay Society, RMIT Gay Collective & Monash Uni Gay Society. Country groups at Central Vic Gay Group, men only, Shepparton, Geelong Gay People.

  • Articles include a piece on the role of the Church in relation to homos – Gay Christian Collective founded in Melbourne late 1979 by men and women, a working group on theological issues.
  • After the 5th National Homo Conference, Sep 1979, the Melbourne Young Gays was formed intended to support those under 25 yrs of age (and they have a film society).
  • Short article by Terry Stokes (p.17) titled ‘Gay Bars and Discos’. He argues bars are more than an alternative lifestyle because (in his experience) in Victoria to behave homosexually is to ‘court the courts’, battering, abuse and unemployment. Thus he says, bars are seen to be ‘safe places’ by many gays, places where it’s okay to behave as a homosexual without persecution. Yet bars are also sexist, monogamist, objectification-ist and full of desperately lonely alcoholics (like straight bars).

Farrago Vol. 58 No. 12, [14] July 1980. Sexuality Edition.

Articles about sexuality (pp.12, 13, 14), anorexia, women and bodies; (p.19) poetry.

‘Getting the Law On Side’ (no author, p.20); says that homo law reform is an ongoing controversial issue. Within gay community it divides, as some see law reform as primary means to liberation from oppression; for others it’s one step to far reaching ends; some see it as a distraction from the real dynamics of sexist oppression. Article calls for the end of the ‘legal bashing of homosexuals’.

Sexuality week July 21-25, 1980 is advertised (up-coming).

Program includes films, Disco and Take Time To Feel (says these films deal with the feeling aspects of human sexuality). Also films, Love Toads and Taking Our Bodies Back (women’s health films).



Portraits of Percy Grainger by three (possibly) gay men in the permanent collection (on display).

Adolf de Meyer, 3 photographs

Baron Adolf Edward Sigismund de Meyer (1868-1949), Vogue photographer and gay man (Adolf married a lesbian). De Meyer and his wife Olga were members of the Edwardian ‘Smart Set’ in London and he was photographer to the rich and famous (present day, may be celebrity paparazzi). Meyer became known for his soft focus and ‘pictorialism’ style and Grainger realised that photos & portraits were essential for self-promotion.

  • Percy Grainger photo, circa 1903: we see Percy as a young man in casual dress (black & white).
  • Two more photos of Grainger by de Meyer, circa 1906 (one of these is postcard size).

Rupert Bunny, oil on canvas, large portrait, circa 1902

Rupert Charles Wulsten Bunny (1864-1947). Australian ex-pat artist, Bunny was a gifted musician (piano) and went to singing gatherings at Grainger’s rooms, Kings Road, London.

It is likely that Bunny met Grainger soon after arriving in London through his acquaintance with Nellie Melba and her circle (both men at home in ‘gay Paris’). Bunny (possibly) lived in a homosexual relationship in his youth. Through a mutual love of music the two formed a rapport and Grainger commissioned Bunny to paint his likeness around 1902. The painting depicts a relaxed young gentleman – fleeting inner tension represented in the taught fingers of Grainger’s right hand, knuckles appear reddened.

Jacques-Emile Blanche, large oil on canvas portrait, 1906

Blanche was successful Parisian born painter specialised in society portraits (unsure if Blanche was homosexual); the musician’s lover Lilith Lowry introduced Blanche to Percy. In 1902 in Dieppe, Blanche introduced Percy to the music of Debussy and later arranged a meeting between the two composers.

In the portrait, young Grainger sits in suit and tie with his characteristic mop of curly hair. He looks directly as if to the viewer (or to the painter).

See also article by Stella Gray (2012) ‘Object of Desire: Portraits of Percy Grainger from his London period’ in Grainger Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, No. 2



The ‘Saphho Panel’ in the Leckie Window is relevant to this project (see also Napier Waller’s drawings).

The Leckie Window was designed & created by Napier Waller and installed in the south wall of MU Wilson Hall, 1935. (Waller’s artistic wife likely to have collaborated on the design of the panels).

Originally commissioned as part of Melbourne’s Centenary celebrations. Sir Henry Lawson presented the window on behalf of Leckie and spoke of the donor’s desire to beautify the University. The Deputy Chancellor, Sir John Latham accepted the gift and gratefully acknowledged that; “if the surroundings of a university were beautiful then the spirit of the university would be better than if the surroundings were merely utilitarian” (see website).

In 1952, Wilson Hall was destroyed by fire. The panels were salvaged and placed in storage. The Prometheus panel suffered the most damage and some of the glass shattered. In 1997-98, the panels were extensively repaired and re-installed in the newly opened Ian Potter Art Museum.

The vertical window comprises six panels and represents six days of creation through Greek mythology and biblical allegory: sun and moon, Ceres (god of agriculture regeneration) Prometheus (maths, astronomy, navigation), Sappho (poet and feminine inspiration) Artemis (moon goddess, feminine principle of universe, twin of Apollo) Phidias (master craftsman) and Apollo (sun god, oracle, medicine, twin brother of Artemis).

Sappho of Lesbos (c.620-570 BCE) was a lyric poet, whose work was popular in ancient Greece. Born into an aristocratic family, little is known of her life. Given the restrictions on women, it is most likely Sappho was allowed to live a life of her own choosing due to the high esteem of women on Lesbos and her own personality. Plato referred to her as the twelfth muse and statues of her likeness were made. It is possible Sappho was a lesbian. She wrote on many subjects but the work expressing lesbian love (romantic love, desire and loss) are the ones that have survived most intact.



Online Catalogue:




Catalogue Online (download-able as pdf file):