WHILE Pride Week celebrations are not as commonplace or as big in Australia as they are in North America or Europe, there was an era when they were.

In 1982, the Star Observer — then known as The Sydney Star — reported news of plans of another Stonewall March through Sydney, as seen on this April 23 front page (see below).

The march was to commemorate New York City’s Stonewall Riots of 1969, often regarded as a pivotal moment in LGBTI rights history around the world.

The first march of its kind in Australia occurred in mid-1978, with the first official Mardi Gras Parade to commemorate it happening a year later.

In 1981, when the Mardi Gras Parade was moved to February, the Stonewall Marches continued around Pride week in late June, as seen on this 1982 front page. There is also a story about the separate Mardi Gras Parade and how it gave back to the community through donations.

Today, Pride events around the world occur throughout June and July, and many cities including New York and London will continue the annual tradition of commemorating the Stonewall Riots through parades, big parties and other cultural events this week and weekend.

In Australia, almost every major city and several regional areas host LGBTI pride and cultural events at different times of the year, usually in summer. Sydney’s Mardi Gras, Melbourne’s Midsumma and Brisbane Pride are Australia’s three largest events.

Star Observer's April 23, 1982 edition (Source: Star Observer Archives)

Star Observer’s April 23, 1982 edition (Source: Star Observer Archives)


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