Project Lead: Professor Robert Reynolds

My primary research focus over the past 25 years has been the history of homosexuality in post-war Australia, beginning with my PhD thesis: Sexuality and Citizenship. I have written three monographs on the topic: From Camp to Queer: Remaking the Australian Homosexual (MUP, 2002); What Happened to Gay Life? (New South, 2007); and co-author with Shirleene Robinson, Gay and Lesbian, Then and Now: Australian Stories from a Social Revolution (Black Inc., 2016). Over the years I have developed a strong interest in oral history, in particular the emotional dynamics of the oral history interview and how the residue of traumatic experiences may impact the interview. I have published two articles on trauma, gay history and life history interviewing which have both been published in Australian Historical Studies.

Chief Investigator: Associate Professor Michelle Arrow

I am an historian of post-war Australia, and my research examines the ways that culture constructs and represents individual and national identities and responds to social and political change. I have published on a wide range of topics, from the impact of the History Wars on history television, to the construction of whiteness in the ABC radio serial Blue Hills, and changing representations of the Lindy Chamberlain case on screen. More recently, I have examined the landmark public inquiry, the 1974 Royal Commission on Human Relationships, investigating its enactment of a feminist politics of personal experience on a national stage. I am the author of three books, most recently The Seventies: The Personal, The Political and the Making of Modern Australia (NewSouth, 2019), and I have published my research in Journal of the History of Sexuality, Women’s History Review, Rethinking History, Australian Feminist Studies, Australian Historical Studies and History Australia. In 2014, my radio feature ‘Public Intimacies: the 1974 Royal Commission on Human Relationships’ (produced with Catherine Freyne and Timothy Nicastri) won the NSW Premier’s Multimedia History Prize.

Chief Investigator: Associate Professor Barbara Baird

Barbara Baird is an Associate Professor in Women’s Studies at Flinders University in Adelaide, South Australia, an institution built on the un-ceded land of the Kaurna people. Her research focuses on histories and cultural politics of sexuality and reproduction in Australia and the shaping of these by discourses of race and national identity. She is currently researching the provision of abortion services in Australia since 1990 and, with history colleagues from Macquarie University, the history of ‘sexual citizenship’ in Australia since 1970. She has for many years been actively engaged in a range of pro-abortion and LGBTIQ community activities and activism.

Chief Investigator: Dr Leigh Boucher

My research centres on the construction and representation of difference in liberal democratic political and popular cultures. This has produced work that investigates a wide variety of historical contexts and representations. This includes research on the dynamic of settler-colonialism and changing constructions of manhood in nineteenth century Victoria, anthropological constructions of the “Aborigine” in nineteenth century Australia, sexuality in contemporary historical films, contestations over masculinity in the representation of the AFL, and the impact of changing ideas about sexuality on the operation of citizenship in late-modern Australia. I have published work in History Australia, Australian Historical Studies, the Journal of Australian Colonial History, Postcolonial Studies, and various other journals and edited collections.

PhD Student: Annalise Humphris

I am a PhD candidate in Modern History at Macquarie University. I’m currently researching the cultural history of homosexual partners migrating to Australia from the 1970s onwards. This PhD research brings together many interests of mine, particularly post second world war Australian politics, gender, sexuality, activism and cultural change. My past research includes an Honours thesis on the discourse of white multiculturalism and a Masters thesis on the topic of police relations with the gay community in Sydney in the 1980s. 

Research Assistant: Dr Sophie Robinson

Sophie Robinson’s research spans the history of late-twentieth century feminisms, the history of Australian lesbian and queer communities since the 1970s, and Australian masculinities.  She has published work in academic journals and also in a forthcoming edited collection exploring the relevance of contemporary lesbian feminist politics and activism.  Her PhD, titled ‘The Lesbian Presence in Australian Feminist, Gay and Queer Social Movements, 1970s-1990s’ explored the transformation of Australian lesbian communities via feminism and radical activism over three decades. Sophie records and works closely with oral history interviews. She is the Secretary of Sydney’s Pride History Group which aims to collect and preserve the oral histories of Sydney’s LGBTQI+ communities.