The Sydney Pride History Group website is currently undergoing an upgrade.
We'll have so much more of our rich history to share with you shortly.
In the meantime check out our online collection of CAMP INK.
With thanks to:
Members of CAMP Ink and all editors, typists and artists involved in the production of CAMP INK from 1970 to 1977.
The digitised collection has been prepared using the personal collection of Peter de Waal AM and the late Peter 'Bon' Bonsall-Boone AM.
Some of the Pride History Group in 2017. Peter de Waal (centre) was a founding member of CAMP with his late partner Peter 'Bon' Bonsall-Boone. Here Peter displays their Member of the Order of Australia medals and certificates.
A Brief History of CAMP Ink
In February 1971, Sydney’s first lesbian and gay political organisation, the Campaign Against Moral Persecution (CAMP Inc), was founded in St John’s Church Hall, Balmain. The organisation was established by John Ware, Christabel Poll and their partners in July 1970 with the aim of educating the general public about homosexuality and alleviating the isolation and low self-esteem experienced by many homosexuals. The new group found clubrooms at 393 Darling Street, Balmain, where they held meetings and parties.
The group’s political work focused initially on ‘coming out’ and John, Christabel and others gave media interviews in which they openly discussed their sexuality. CAMP also held the first homosexual demonstration in Australia, protesting outside the Liberal Party HQ in Ash Street, Sydney, on 6 October 1971, in support of Tom Hughes, a candidate for pre-selection who supported homosexual law reform. Further demonstrations in favour of law reform and challenging discrimination against homosexuals by psychiatrists, the church and others followed.
In 1972, following a decision to establish a constitution and office-bearers for the group, Sue Wills and Lex Watson were elected co-presidents and late next year, CAMP NSW moved into new clubrooms at 33a Glebe Point Road. In April 1973, CAMP established a telephone counselling service, Phone-a-Friend which, as the 1970s wore on, came to dominate the group’s work, after the political activists had hived off. By the early 1980s, it had become the core of CAMP’s activities and a decision was taken to rename the group, the Gays Counselling Service. In 1990, following another name change, it became the Gay and Lesbian Counselling Service of NSW, which continues to operate today.