Council is working hard to promote inclusion for our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer (LGBTIQ) communities.
The Inner West occupies a central place in Australia’s LGBTIQ history.
All three of the former councils that comprise Inner West (Ashfield, Leichhardt and Marrickville) endorse support for marriage equality and engage LGBTIQ communities in events and consultations such as the Feel the Love Mardi Gras Reception, Wear It Purple Day and an annual forum. Rainbow flags are raised every year to show support for diversity and the benefits it brings to the local community.
Inner West Council is made up of communities where there is a strong spirit of cooperation, trust and pride.
Check back on this page shortly to find out more about our past, our present and our future.
The Inner West was the first council in Australia to offer our facilities for same sex marriages free of charge for 100 days, following the change in marriage laws. Congratulations to all who utilised this service and were joined in marriage.
If you would like information for your wedding venue, look no further!
Feel The Love 2018
Each year Council recognises and celebrates the month of Mardi Gras through our fabulous Mardi Gras Reception in February, Feel the Love.
Council also proudly opens the month of Mardi Gras by raising Rainbow Flags, street flags and banners throughout the Inner West local area.
2018 marked the sixth annual Feel the Love Reception and was organised in partnership with the Inner West Council LGBTIQ Working Group.
Feel the Love 2018 was hosted by Barbra Blacksheep and we heard our Inner West locals share their experiences from the past 40 years:
Peter de Waal - First gay couple in Australia to kiss on TV on ABC TV's Chequerboard
Gail Hewison - 78er arrested at the first Mardi Gras
Amanda Dunstan - Vice President of Dykes on Bikes discussing Safe Watch and their participation in Mardi Gras
Daf Hewson - Recently married her partner of 22 years
The event showcased the pioneers living in our community and the progress that has been made on behalf of the whole LGBTIQ community.
Happy 40 years of Mardi Gras!
Mardi Gras Official Flag Raising Ceremony
An official Rainbow Flag Raising ceremony was held to mark the start of the Mardi Gras celebrations on 16 February 2018. This was held for the first time in the Lackey Street Piazza, Summer Hill (previously held at the Balmain Town Hall) home of the Rainbow Crossing marked permanently onto the square in 2013.
The Crossing is available to be 'chalked in' by children, families and community members with messages of love and support.
The Rainbow flags will be flown throughout the Mardi Gras celebrations from the Piazza and several civic buildings throughout the Inner West area.
Inner West Council flew rainbow flags and banners from its key buildings throughout the voting period for the same-sex marriage postal survey. The flags and banners confirmed a unified commitment and served as a reminder to residents to make sure they vote and signal Council's support for marriage equality.
Council's LGBTIQ Working Group had requested flags be flown to remind people of the importance of having their say on the issue and to support diversity in our local community.
All three of the former Councils that comprise the Inner West (Ashfield, Leichhardt and Marrickville) endorsed support for marriage equality.
Rainbow flags flew above key council buildings from 12 September - when enrolled voters started receiving their voting forms, until November 7 – when all forms were due back by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Visit www.equalitycampaign.org.au for more information on the marriage equality campaign.
Local 'Yes' supporter images: ©2017 #vee_sage
Wear it Purple Day
Wear it Purple was founded in 2010 in response to global stories of real teenagers, real heartache and their very real responses. In 2010, several rainbow young people took their own lives following bullying and harassment resulting from the lack of acceptance of their sexuality or gender identity. Since 2010, when Wear it Purple was co-founded by Katherine Hudson and Scott Williams, Wear it Purple has developed into an international movement. New generations of rainbow young people continue to be dedicated to promoting the annual expression of support and acceptance to rainbow young people.
Wear it Purple 2018
This year, in partnership with local Police, we will be hosting a drop in space in front of the Newtown Neighbourhood Centre to celebrate our Rainbow Youth.
There will be free giveaways as well as the opportunity to speak to event partners, Headspace, Newtown Neighbourhood Centre, Policebank and Twenty10.
Date: 31 August 2018
Time: 7:30am - 9:00am
Venue: King Street, Newtown
We look forward to seeing you there!
Rainbow Roundtable 2017
Members of the LGBTIQ communities came together to discuss emerging issues and talk about local initiatives. This has provided an opportunity for the local LGBTIQ community to contribute their ideas and views into Council's decision making process.
This year's Rainbow Roundtable was hosted by Jordan Raskopoulos and covered issues such as:
- Bullying and Harassment
- Health and Mental Health
- Social Isolation
- Access to appropriate services/programs
Download a copy of the Rainbow Roundtable Community Consultation Report (PDF 207.9KB)
Any enquiries to Josie Leeson on: 9392 5756 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
More about our host, Jordan Raskopoulos
Jordan is a world class comedian, actor, singer and digital content creator. She is best known for her work as the front woman for comedy rock band The Axis of Awesome.
Jordan came out as a transgender woman in February 2016 on the Axis' YouTube channel with a funny yet touching video titled What's Happened to Jordan's Beard? In the video Jordan explained the reason for her absent facial hair with grace and humour.
Since then Jordan has become a role model to young trans people. She has brought transgender issues into her comedy routines and live performances. She has promoted awareness and understanding to a broad audience through humour. Her song about the trans experience The Elephant in the Room has reached over 180,000 people online and speaks straight to the hearts of trans people and allies alike.
Jordan has written about transgender issues and spoken about her personal experience for numerous publications and media programs, including The Project, Archer Magazine and junkee.com and is an outspoken voice for trans rights and representation. She has become an inspiration to young LGBTQIA+ people by living her genuine life, openly and publicly and being an outspoken campaigner for progress and understanding.
From left to right: Curtis Dickson, Margaret Bernard, Teresa Savage, Laurel Walter, Richard Pearson (Inner West Council Administrator), Judi Muller (away)
Congratulations to the Feel the Love 2017 - LGBTIQ Working Group for their contribution to the Inner West LGBTIQ community. They were recently awarded the 'Volunteer Team/Group of the Year' award at the Amy Large Volunteer Awards. If you're interested in joining the award winning group to assist with future events and programs, please get in touch.
Any enquiries to Josie Leeson on: 9392 5756 or email@example.com.
LGBTIQ Library Collections
The Inner West Library service has developed significant collections of LGBTIQ items for our community, including fiction, non-fiction, DVD's and graphic novels. The collection is aimed at being inclusive with relevant adult non-fiction topics such as:
- raising gay children
- being Christian and gay
- coming out
- transgender teenagers
- history of gay and lesbian activism in Australia and the world
- gay and lesbian marriage guides
- gay and lesbian parenting guides
The resources are interfiled in the collections and can be identified with a rainbow flag sticker on the spine.
For the catalogue, visit the Inner West Council Library page.
Vale Peter Bonsall-Boone (Bon)
It is with sadness that Council notes the passing of Peter Bonsall-Boone, a tireless community volunteer and an important figure in the history of LGBTIQ rights in Sydney.
Bon was a true pioneer activist and fighter for equality who was there with his partner Peter at the very first Mardi Gras in 1978. (Bon was charged with a criminal offence after the police crackdown.)
They were proud and active members of the "78-ers" group.
Long-term residents of Balmain, Bon and Peter, were also:
- Foundation members of Campaign Against Moral Persecution (CAMP), which changed the history of homosexuality in Australia, eventually leading to homosexual law reform, anti-discrimination legislation and even the current push for marriage equality. All these advances began with CAMP.
- Founders of Phone-a-Friend, the first gay and lesbian counselling service in Australia.
- Active supporters of the Gay Rights Lobby.
- Active members of Sydney's Pride History Group.
- The first gay couple in Australia to kiss on TV, when they featured on ABC TV's Chequerboard in 1972.
Bon was also:
- Principal co-ordinator and trainer with Community Support Network (CSN) which was set up in response to the AIDS crisis. CSN was eventually folded into the AIDS Council of NSW (ACON).
- A much-beloved reader on Radio for the Print Handicapped (2RPH) for over 30 years.
- An active Christian and organise of some skill, playing and acting as choir master at various churches from 1953.
Bon, who passed away on Friday 19 May 2017, was sad he and his partner of 50 years were never able to wed. Not long before he died he said, "It looks like we missed the boat".
Multicultural Support Directory
This directory has been compiled to provide information for people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual and including all minority sexual and gender identities, as well as atypical biological sex (LGBTQIA+). This resource contains information related to religious groups, cultural groups and sporting groups that are specifically for LGBTQIA+ individuals, with the aim of providing assistance and social support in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
Access your copy here:LGBTQIA Multicultural Support Directory (PDF 737KB)