Activists Peter de Waal and Peter ‘Bon’ Bonsall-Boone, Lex Watson, and Roberta Perkins have been named among the dedications for the Inner West Council’s Pride Seats.

Robyn Plaister, The Feminist Bookshop, Pollys Club, and Timothy J Bishop were also honoured with dedications.

The Inner West Council announced the project to honour significant LGBTI activists and groups in June this year.

The seats will be set up at high profile locations throughout the Inner West Council area with dedications in the form of a plaque or signage.

Mayor of the Inner West Darcy Byrne also announced the Gateway Street Art Project to honour and affirm the inclusiveness and diversity of the area.

A founding member of the Campaign Against Moral Persecution (CAMP), for many of his generation Alexander ‘Lex’ Watson was the face of gay activism in Sydney.

Watson passed away in 2014, and was posthumously awarded a Queen’s Birthday Honour for his work as part of CAMP, the Gay Rights Lobby, and as the first president of ACON.

Another seat will be dedicated to de Waal as well as Bonsall-Boone, who passed away last year, honouring the couple’s pioneering role in gay activism and visibility in Australia.

Plaister will be honoured with a dedication for her role in CAMP and future activism, including helping to organise the 1978 Mardi Gras – nearly losing her job as a teacher after her photo was published on the front page of The Daily Telegraph.

She was recently honoured alongside other CAMP members with ACON’s President’s Award.

Perkins will be recognised for her trailblazing role as an activist and advocate for trans people and sex workers, and for founding a refuge for homeless trans people, now known as The Gender Centre.

Perkins passed away in June.

Longtime resident of the Inner West Timothy J Bishop will receive a dedication for his work in enhancing the inclusion and equity of LGBTI Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, including his project blackmardigras.net which preserves the history of Indigenous involvement in Mardi Gras in an online, interactive archive.

Two businesses and organisations will also receive dedications.

The first, Lilyfield’s The Feminist Bookshop, created a safe space for queer people and especially women to meet and offer support and was co-owned by Jane Waddy, Libby Silva and Gail Hewison between 1982 and 2011.

And the final Pride Seat will be named in honour of The Pollys Club, which formed in 1964 and is the longest-running LGBTI social club in Australia, founded to raise money for charity and community causes.

The Pollys Club continues to run, with its next event taking place on December 1 at Marrickville Town Hall, the club’s longtime home.

The seven Pride Seats will be installed at high profile locations around the Inner West.

“The Inner West has played a key role in Australia’s queer history, and this is a lovely way to recognise the incredible contribution our residents have made to LGBTI rights,” Councillor Pauline Lockie said.

You can find each Pride Seat at the following locations:

  • Peter Bonsall-Boone and Peter de Waal – Darling Street, Rozelle (outside Commonwealth Bank)
  • Roberta Perkins – Australia Street, Newtown (outside Newtown Neighbourhood Centre)
  • Robyn Plaister – Norton Street, Leichhardt (outside Norton Plaza)
  • Alexander ‘Lex’ Watson – Marrickville Road, Marrickville (outside Marrickville Town Hall)
  • The Pollys Club – Marrickvillle Road, Marrickville (outside Marrickville Town Hall)
  • Tim Bishop – Lackey Street Piazza, Summer Hill

For more images from the announcement, blogger and broadcaster William Brougham has published a gallery from the event on Facebook.

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