Public Hearing 1: 21 – 25 November 2022

The Inquiry’s first public hearing will examine the social and cultural context in which suspected LGBTIQ hate crime deaths occurred between 1970 and 2010.

It is important for the Inquiry to appreciate the prevailing realities and attitudes of the time, and how various LGBTIQ community groups and advocates, and the Police, responded to the prejudice and violence that was occurring.

The hearing will be conducted over approximately five days, commencing at 10am on 21 November 2022 at the Chief Secretary’s Building, Level 2, 121 Macquarie Street, Sydney. The hearing is open to the public and will be live streamed via the Inquiry’s website.

It is expected that the public hearing will include evidence relating to:

  1. The social, legal and cultural factors affecting the LGBTIQ community in the 40-year period in question;
  2. The level of violence perpetrated against the LGBTIQ community in that time, whether at known beats or in private homes or elsewhere;
  3. The nature of the relationship between the LGBTIQ community and the NSW Police over that period, including the Police response to violence and deaths suspected of being hate crimes;
  4. The advocacy and campaigns of the LGBTIQ community in that period, including some of the hallmark changes to laws affecting the community.

The Inquiry will hear from historians, advocates, writers, and others with lived experience of the period, including experience of the violence against the LGBTIQ community during that time.

It is anticipated that the following witnesses will be called to give oral evidence in the order listed below, however this is subject to change:

  • Garry Wotherspoon – Historian, activist and author of several books including Gay Sydney.
  • Greg Callaghan – journalist, author of Bondi Badlands and host of the podcast of the same name.
  • Brent Mackie – Director of Policy, Strategy and Research at ACON
  • Barry Charles – Campus CAMP UNSW, First Secretary of the UNSW Gay Liberation and Co-Convenor of the Gay Rights Lobby in the early 1980s.
  • Les Peterkin – a gay man whose life experiences include both Sydney and country NSW, between the 1950s and the present.
  • Dr Gary Cox – Co-Convenor of the Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby from 1988 to 1989 and author of the Streetwatch Report and the Count and Counter Report into hate related violence against gays and lesbians in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
  • Bruce Grant – Co-Convenor of the Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby from 1989-1991, and Coordinator of the Lesbian and Gay Anti-Violence Project from 1991-1999.
  • Ülo Klemmer – Beat Outreach Worker with ACON in the 1990s.
  • Dr Eloise Brook – Health and Communications Manager at The Gender Centre, editor of POLARE, Australia’s most well-known magazine for the transgender and gender diverse community, and presenter of the podcast Counting the Dead, an investigation of homicides against transgender people.
  • Carole Ruthchild – Co-Convenor of the Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby from 1989 to 1992 and contributor toThe Off Our Backs report into anti-lesbian violence in the early 90s.

The Honourable Justice John Sackar will preside at the hearing. Counsel Assisting the Inquiry will be Peter Gray SC, Christine Melis, Bill de Mars and Kathleen Heath.

Journalists wishing to cover the hearing should notify the Inquiry’s media team to ensure access to the media room and/or relevant information including schedules and transcripts.

All inquiries in relation to the hearing should be directed to contact@specialcommission.nsw.gov.au

The schedule is subject to change and does not necessarily contain all activities, hearings and engagements that the Inquiry will undertake.

It will be updated as more information becomes available.

Video

Transcripts

Exhibits

Exhibit-1

Exhibit-2

Exhibit-3

  • Exhibit 3 Garry Wotherspoon Gay Sydney A History New South Printing 1st edition 2016 *

Exhibit-4

  • Exhibit 4 Greg Callaghan Bondi Badlands Allen Unwin 1st edition 2007 *

Exhibit-5

  • Exhibit 5 Duncan McNab Getting Away With Murder Vintage Books 1st edition 2017 *

* not to be published on this website.