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Ron Austin interviewed by James Waites in the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras oral history project [sound recording]
Bib ID 5155930
Format AudioAudio [sound recording]
Author
Austin, Ron, 1929-, Interviewee
 
Access Conditions Access open for research, personal copies and public use. 
Description 2011 
2 sound files (ca. 217 min.) 
Series

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras oral history project.

Summary

Ron Austin, born in Maitland, N.S.W. (1929) discusses his early memories; his family and the family farm; WWII; schooling; illness; leaving school at age 16; questioning his sexuality and entering a monastery for four years; falling in love; sexual awakening; not discussing his sexuality; attending Art school in Newcastle; working for the Children's Library and Crafts Movement in Sydney; learning through friends and literature about homosexuality; loneliness and struggles regarding his identity; being ‘in the closet’; his generation’s experiences of being gay; joining Campaign Against Moral Persecution (CAMP) (1971); identifying as gay; meeting other homosexual people; descriptions of CAMP meetings and venues; the organisational structure, key figures and friends within CAMP; working within CAMP’s phone counselling and information service; other CAMP services and events; assaults and gay bashings; his determination and activism; deputations to N.S.W. Premier Neville Wran; the first Gay Film Festival; gay pride marches in the U.S.A.; conceiving of the Sydney Mardi Gras.

Austin discusses homosexuality and illegality at that time; Mardi Gras’ strategies for reaching ‘closeted’ gays and non-activists; a description of the first Mardi Gras (1978); police reaction and confrontation; publicity that resulted from the first Mardi Gras; his work as a facilitator; the evolving routes of Mardi Gras; the social impact of Mardi Gras’ popularity and success; recognition and non-recognition of his being one of the original organisers; his reasons for leaving CAMP (1978); the gay scene in the 1980s; the social side of beat life; Mardi Gras’ bankruptcy (2002); his impressions of Mardi Gras in recent years; friendship and relationships; reading and music; his philosophies and outlook on life.

Notes

Recorded on 3 and 8 April 2011 in Camperdown, N.S.W.

Digital master available National Library of Australia;

Index/Finding Aid Note Timed summary (7 p.) available. 
Subjects Austin, Ron, 1929- -- Interviews.  |  Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras -- History.  |  Gay activists -- New South Wales -- Sydney -- Interviews.  |  Homosexuality -- New South Wales -- Sydney -- History.  |  Youth workers -- New South Wales -- Interviews.
Occupation Youth workers.
Other authors/contributors Waites, James, 1955-2014, Interviewer

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    Details Collect From
    ORAL TRC 6280/2
    Copy: Recording
    Special Collections Reading Room
    ORAL TRC 6280/2 (summary)
    Copy: Summary
    Special Collections Reading Room

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    Members of Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Maori communities are advised that this catalogue contains names and images of deceased people. All users of the catalogue should also be aware that certain words, terms or descriptions may be culturally sensitive and may be considered inappropriate today, but may have reflected the author's/creator's attitude or that of the period in which they were written.