Vale Ron Austin

Decision Maker: Council

Decision status: Recommendations Determined


By Councillor Phelps

It is resolved that:

(A)      Council note:

(i)         Ron Austin, 78er and LGBTQI+ activist, sadly passed away on the morning of April 13 2019;

(a)       Ron was a lifelong activist for the LGBTQI+ community whose contributions include being a founding member of "Phone a Friend", a phone counselling service which still exists today as QLife, an early member of Sydney’s first lesbian and gay political organisation, the Campaign Against Moral Persecution (CAMP Inc) and a member of 'The 78ers' who participated in the first Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras;

(b)       Ron was the originator of the idea to have a night-time street party to commemorate the ninth anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in New York. The street party, held on 24th June 1978, was a turning point in LGBTQI+ activism in Australia and would later evolve into the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras; and

(c)       Ron's philosophy of taking the LGBTQI+ Community out of the bars and into the streets played a large part in changing attitudes towards the LGBTQI+ community in Sydney and highlighted the importance of one being able to publicly be themselves;

(B)      the Chamber be requested to observe one minute's silence to honour the contribution of Mr Austin to the LGBTQI+ community and the City of Sydney; and

(C)      a letter, under the Lord Mayor's signature, be conveyed to Mr Austin's family expressing Council's sincere condolences.

Note – at the meeting of Council, Councillor Phelps withdrew her Notice of Motion.



Report author: Rebekah Celestin

Publication date: 13/05/2019

Date of decision: 13/05/2019

Decided at meeting: 13/05/2019 - Council

Accompanying Documents: