Celebrating LGBT History Month with Peter de Waal AM


In celebration of LGBT History Month, the University of Sydney Library and the Pride Network are proud to be co-hosting a presentation by a trailblazing activist of the Sydney LGBTQIA+ community, Peter de Waal AM.

The presentation will be held online, via Zoom, on Thursday 29 October from 2 to 3pm.


Register for the talk here.

Peter de Waal (left) with his partner
Peter Bonsall-Boone

Peter will speak about what it was like being a homosexual couple in the 1960s and 1970s and the challenge of being ‘out’ in that era. After sharing this personal story, Peter will participate in a 30-minute Q and A session about his work as an activist.

Don’t miss this opportunity to meet a true pioneer of LGBTQIA+ rights as we commemorate the fighting spirit of all those, like Peter, who worked tirelessly to improve the lives of so many.

About the speaker

Peter de Waal AM is a long-term LGBTQIA+ rights activist and author. Among his many achievements, he was a foundation member of CAMP Inc (Campaign Against Moral Persecution) in 1970, the first national homosexual rights organisation in Australia and publisher of the monthly magazine CAMP INK, from 1970 to 1977.

Peter was involved in the first homosexual rights demonstration in Sydney in 1971 in support of law reform. In 1972, he appeared on the ABC program Chequerboard, together with his partner Peter Bonsall-Boone. In 1973, they established the first Australian volunteer homosexual telephone help line, Phone-A-Friend, now called Twenty10 – Gay and Lesbian Counselling Service.

A few years later, Peter’s initiation of the first-ever Tribunal on Homosexuals and Discrimination resulted in the NSW State Government developing anti-discrimination legislation. Peter became a member of the Sydney-based Gay Task Force in the late 1970s, and participated in the first Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras in 1978.

During the 1980s, Peter was a health promotion coordinator at the Bankstown Community Health Centre, and a volunteer immigration advisor with the NSW Gay and Lesbian Immigration Task Force from 1989 to 1998.


3 thoughts on “Celebrating LGBT History Month with Peter de Waal AM

    1. Thank you for this comment – it’s a good question. We’re looking into it and will get back to you with an answer as soon as we find out more.

    2. Sorry for the delayed reply. We have spoken to Peter and confirmed that he was a full-time student from 1976 to 1979 at Macquarie University, not the University of Sydney. However, he was associated with Usyd in the mid-1970s through his work with CAMP NSW (Campaign Against Moral Persecution). He and other CAMP members conducted many education sessions with first-year medical students to help encourage a community of practice that was more inclusive of LGBTQIA+ people.

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