THE federal government has provided funding for the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives (ALGA) to help it digitise the outtakes from a classic documentary about the events leading up to and including Sydney’s first Mardi Gras.

Liberal MP Kelly O’Dwyer announced the $14,975 grant under the government’s Community Heritage Grants Program at the Archives in Melbourne this week.

“I congratulate the Archives on receiving this funding, which will be used for the digitisation of its audio-visual collection, helping to preserve a wealth of nationally significant archival footage and sound recordings,” she said.

‘I’m particularly delighted that the Archives is in my electorate of Higgins.

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The original poster for the 1979 documentary ‘Witches and Faggots, Dykes and Poofters’. Image supplied by the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives.

“The Archives is a wonderful volunteer-run organisation that is home to the largest collection of historical material about the lesbian and gay experience in Australia including tapes, films, photographs, speeches, and broadcasts.”

The grant will help the Archives to digitise the outtakes of Digby Duncan’s documentary film ‘Witches and Faggots, Dykes and Poofters’ from 1979.

Duncan donated the outtakes which focus on the historic events in New South Wales in 1978 around Sydney’s first ever Mardi Gras that saw queer people attacked by state police.

The personal experiences of LGBTI people are revealed through interviews, highlighting the many ways in which gay people suffered discrimination at the time.

The Community Heritage Grants Program helps non-profit community organisations preserve and ensure locally held, nationally important cultural heritage collections across Australia.

Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield said the government was pleased to provide $415,000 in grants for the program between 2016-17 as a means to support 77 projects across Australia.

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