Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives gets federal grant

The Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives has received a federal government grant to help fund the digitisation of its audio-visual collection.

Located in Melbourne, the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives (ALGA) is a non-profit, volunteer-run organisation that collects and preserves material reflecting the lives and experiences of LGBTI Australians.


Since its establishment in 1978 it’s become the largest repository of such material in the country, with over 100,000 items.

Local federal MP Kelly O’Dwyer announced last week a $14,975 grant provided under the Federal Government’s Community Heritage Grants Program will help the Archives with their work.

Ms O’Dwyer, the federal member for Higgins, said the funding “will be used for the digitisation of its audio-visual collection, helping to preserve a wealth of nationally significant archival footage and sound recordings.”

“The Australian Lesbian and Gay 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,” she said.

Grant will fund restoration of ‘Witches and Faggots, Dykes and Poofters’

ALGA said the grant money will enable them to preserve outtakes from Digby Duncan’s 1979 documentary film “Witches and Faggots, Dykes and Poofters,” which show the events leading up to the very first Sydney Mardi Gras protest march on June 24, 1978.

Last year, ALGA also made available digitized versions of a number of scrapbooks of historical LGBTI clippings and memorabilia.

For more information about the Australia Gay and Lesbian Archives and to donate or join their email list, visit their website.

The federal government’s Community Heritage Grants Program provides grants of up to $15,000 to non-profit community organisations to preserve and ensure access to locally held, nationally important cultural heritage collections across Australia.

Applications for a new round of the grants will open on 6 March and close on 8 May.

(Top photo: Detail of Gay Pride Week march, 1973, Melbourne, photograph by Frank Prain, courtesy of Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives (ALGA).)

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