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Ballarat’s queer history: two recent projects

Originally published June 16, 2019
Last updated August 9, 2019
Posted in , ,

At the end of last month, two projects I’ve been working on came to fruition. As part of Ballarat Heritage Weekend, we put together a visual display and a walking tour about Ballarat’s queer history. This was the culmination of months of research, writing, design, and collaboration with other researchers and members of Ballarat’s queer community.

As well as digging through Trove for stories from the colonial era, I had the pleasure of talking to some of the older members of our community and mining their memories for stories of Ballarat during the 80s and 90s. The Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives and Ballarat Community Health provided further material, especially from the 90s onward.

There’s very little queer history looking at regional and rural areas, and the later colonial period (which we focused on in our walking tour) is also under-represented in queer Australian history. It was fantastic to be able to fill some of these gaps, and I have high hopes of filling even more with further articles on topics that came up during my research.

We Have Always Been Here

Ballarat queer history display in the form of six pull-up banners.

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Ballarat Queer History Tour

A guided walking tour of Ballarat’s queer history during the gold rush era (1850-1900), presented as part of Ballarat Heritage Weekend by Alex Bayley and Tom Hodgson.

Learn more.

Alex Bayley is a tech industry refugee, independent researcher, writer, educator and community builder. They live in Ballarat, west of Melbourne, Australia.

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Hi, I'm Alex. I'm an independent researcher, writer, educator and activist based in Ballarat, Australia. If you appreciate my work, please consider becoming a patron on Patreon. Even $1 a month helps!

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17 Comments

  1. Marna Nightingale on August 11, 2019 at 11:44 am

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  2. Clare on August 11, 2019 at 12:32 pm

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  4. Wetherby2019 on September 10, 2019 at 8:01 am

    Congrats, Ballarat. Have you seen Barbara Creed’s ‘Homosexuality: a film for discussion’? Anne, one of the principals in the film was a fellow student at Sacred Heart College in ’63 and ’64. She speaks about the realisation of her identity at that time in the film.



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