MS 8915
Papers of Greg Weir



Scope and Content Note

  • Papers
  • 1893-1994 (bulk 1974-1994)
  • 3.5 m. (25 boxes)
  • Available for reference

The collection was donated to the National Library in 1995.

The papers comprise 25 files of correspondence, articles, cuttings, reports, minutes, and other papers assembled by Weir during twenty years of political activism. The papers have been arranged into 25 sections, or 'volumes' by Greg Weir and include a comprehensive index to the archive. The material relates to gay and lesbian issues, homosexual law reform, the origin and development of the Palm Sunday rallies, the AIDS epidemic, and civil liberties particularly with respect to the gay and lesbian communities in Queensland.

Biographical Note

Teacher and gay rights activist. Weir took legal action against the Queensland government in 1976 for not employing gays. He worked as an electorate assistant to a Queensland senator, 1981-1987.


Index

The index to Greg Weir's Archive is extremely comprehensive and is available in both hard copy and electronically. The printed index has 794 pages. Each document is indexed and correspondents are mentioned.

Contents

  • Index to the papers including documents and conclusion (4 folders)
  • Draft index (1 volume)
  • 4 computer disks containing data files for the index
  • A list of Greg Weir's poster collection.
  • Volume 1 - Gay and lesbian issues, before 1974
    • Doc. 1-205 (3 files)
  • Volume 2 - Gay and lesbian issues, 1974-75
    • Doc. 1-157 (2 files)
  • Volume 3 - Gay and lesbian issues, 1976
    • Doc. 1-129 (4 files)
  • Volume 4 - Gay and lesbian issues, 1977
    • Doc. 1a-300 (8 files), Appendix and diary
  • Volume 5 - Gay and lesbian issues, 1978
    • Doc. 1-125 (4 files) and diary
  • Volume 6 - Gay and lesbian issues, 1979
    • Doc. 1a-144 (4 files)
  • Volume 7 - Greg Weir legal case closes and other non-gay activities in the 1980s
    • Doc. 1-279 (7 files)
  • Volume 8 - Gay and lesbian issues, 1980-81
    • Doc. 1-240 (4 files)
  • Volume 9 - AIDS, 1981-83
    • Doc. 1-133 (2 files)
  • Volume 10 - Gay and lesbian issues, 1982-83
    • Doc. 1-145 (3 files)
  • Volume 11 - Gay and lesbian issues, 10th National Conference, 1984
    • Doc. 1-151 (3 files)
  • Volume 12 - Gays, ABC, Keith Wright (ALP, Queensland)
    • Doc. 1-60 (3 files)
  • Volume 13 - AIDS and Queensland and the Federal Election, 1984
    • Doc. 1-167 (3 files)
  • Volume 14 - Gays and Queensland, Sturgess Inquiry, 1984-87
    • Doc. 1-202 (4 files) and Appendix
  • Volume 15 - AIDS - testing and tracing campaign, 1985
    • Doc. 1-135 (3 files)

Volume 16 - Gays and lesbians - Queensland Liquor Act, 1985

  • Doc. 1-71b (2 files), Appendix, Attachments and Petitions

Volume 17 - AIDS (General), 1985

  • Doc. 1-497 (6 files)

Volume 18 - AIDS (General), 1986

  • Doc. 1-24b (2 files), Collections Jun-Aug, compilations

Volume 19 - AIDS - Queensland National Campaign, 1986

  • Doc. 1-109 (2 files), Letters of support, etc.

Volume 20 - AIDS (General), 1987

  • Doc. 1-8 (3 files), reports (Q.A.C.), compilations

Volume 21 - AIDS and Queensland Parliamentary leaders, 1987

  • Doc. 1-384 (5 files), Serendipity: some archival ballast

Volume 22 - Gay and lesbian issues, 1988-89

  • Doc. 1-225 (5 files)

Volume 23 - Gay and lesbian issues and Law Reform Queensland, 1989-90

  • Doc. 1-1171 (23 files)

Volume 24 - Gay and lesbian issues - Anti-discrimination

  • Doc. 1-400 (10 files)

Volume 25 - Greg Weir letters , etc. (1971-94) (14 files)

  • 2 handbooks: The Sydneian : Sydney Grammar School, 1969 and Church of England : Year Book of the Diocese of Brisbane, 1972

Box List

                                                                  

                                                                         

Box     Volume                                                           
                                                                         

1       Indexes and 4 computer disks, poster collection list             
2       1-2                                                              
3       3                                                                
4       4                                                                
5       4                                                                
6       5                                                                
7       6                                                                
8       7                                                                
9       8-9                                                              
10      10-11                                                            
11      12-13                                                            
12      14                                                               
13      15-16                                                            
14      17                                                               
15      18-19                                                            
16      20                                                               
17      21                                                               
18      22                                                               
19      23                                                               
20      23                                                               
21      23                                                               
22      23                                                               
23      23-24                                                            
24      24                                                               
25      25                                                               

Greg Weir Archive Documents

A collection of documents from files compiled during twenty years of organised social activism. Variously known as:

  • "Gay Issues 1891-1994 Mainstream Political and Cultural Perspective: A Comprehensive Archive and Index".
  • "Greg Weir Documents" Original Documents held at the National Library of Australia, Reference Number MS 8915
  • "Greg Weir Archive of Gay Issues" Copies of Documents in the Mitchell Library, Reference Number MSS 5938
Dedicated to those I have worked with those who we have worked for and those who work for the good of us all in some way or another.

Volumes

  1. Gay and Lesbian Issues Prior to 1974
  2. Gay and Lesbian Issues 1974 - 1975
  3. Gay and Lesbian Issues 1976
  4. Gay and Lesbian Issues 1977
  5. Gay and Lesbian Issues 1978
  6. Gay and Lesbian Issues 1979
  7. Greg Weir - Legal Case Ends and other 'Non-Gay' Activities of the1980's
  8. Gay and Lesbian Issues 1980 - 1981
  9. A.I.D.S. Issues 1981 - 1983
  10. Gay and Lesbian Issues 1982 - 1983
  11. Gay and Lesbian Issues - 10th National Conference 1984
  12. Gay and Lesbian Issues - Keith Wright (ALP Queensland) 1984
  13. A.I.D.S. and the Federal Election 1984
  14. Gay and Lesbian Issues - Queensland "Sturgess Inquiry" 1984/87
  15. A.I.D.S. Issue - Testing and Tracing 1985
  16. Gays and Lesbian Issues - Queensland Liquor Acts 1985
  17. A.I.D.S. - General 1985
  18. A.I.D.S. - General 1986
  19. A.I.D.S. - Queensland National Campaign on AIDS Education 1986
  20. A.I.D.S. - General 1987
  21. A.I.D.S. - Queensland Parliamentary Leadership 1987
  22. Gay and Lesbian Issues - Organising Models in Queensland 1988-89
  23. Gay and Lesbian Issues - Law Reform Queensland 1989-1990
  24. Gay, Lesbian and Queer Issues - Anti-Discrimination 1991+
  25. Greg Weir - Some Personal Correspondence

Letters, Opinions and an Introduction to the Collection and Index

Noel Preston, Senior Lecturer In Applied Ethics, Queensland University of Technology

Doc. No: IV - .05 / Letter: 1994.08.01
From: Dr Noel Preston Senior Lecturer in Applied Ethics, Queensland Institute of Technology
"I am writing to commend to you the archive material.... I have perused the range of materials which details documentation on the question of the homosexual community's place in the wider community set against data which reflects a significant period in Queensland's political history."

Gary MacLennan, School of Media and Journalism, Queensland University of Technology

Doc. No: V - .05 / Letter: 1994.08.01
From: Gary MacLennan School of Media and Journalism, Queensland Institute of Technology
"... So to sum up my responses to this material I believe that it is extremely valuable and should certainly be preserved. Future researchers into student politics, gay issues, both Left and Right Wing pressure groups; the role of the state and its educational apparatus will all find documents hear which would be extremely difficult to access otherwise...."

Stephen Cox, Lecturer in Social Psychology, Griffith University

Doc. No: VII - .05 / Letter: 1994.09.16
From: Stephen Cox Lecturer in Social Psychology, Griffith University, Queensland
"I unreservedly commend the archive. It is a thorough collection of gay and lesbian historical material..."

W.A. Lee, Former Reader in Law, University of Queensland, Commissioner for the Queensland Law Reform Commission

Doc. No: VIII - .05 / Letter: 1994.09.22
From: WA (Tony) Lee Former Reader in Law, University of Queensland and Commissioner for Law Reform, Queensland
"... No post graduate student of law, politics, history, sociology, linguistics, medicine or education touching upon the general or particular areas embraced by this archive could fail to benefit from it. Indeed it would be hard to see how any comprehensive exploration of Australian politics of the seventies and eighties could safely ignore this archive, let alone any exploration of the more particular issues canvassed by it. I commend it unreservedly as a major Australian archive."

John Woodley, Australian Democrat Senator for Queensland, Minister of the Uniting Church of Australia

Doc. No: X - .05 / Letter: 1994.09.22
From: John Woodley Senator for Queensland and Minister of the Uniting Church in Australia.
"... I believe that students wishing to research the areas of history, politics, social change, education and law will find this archive to be a most valuable resource. As a member of the organisation of Concerned Christians and Director for Social Responsibility of the Uniting Church in Queensland during the turbulent years of the seventies and eighties, it is most gratifying to know that someone has provided this window into that period..."

Margaret Reynolds, Senator for Queensland

Doc. No: XI - .05 / Letter: 1994.11.08
From: Margaret Reynolds Australian Senate
"... The archive is also particularly distinguished by the depth of scholarship which underpins its organisation and selection of source material..."

Dr. Clive Moore, Senior Lecturer, Department of History, The University of Queensland

Doc. No: XIII - .05 / Letter: 1994.11.22
From: Clive Moore Senior Lecturer, Department of History, University of Queensland
"... It is an extraordinary collection: although there is a Queensland bias it ranges all over Australia, and includes relevant material from overseas. The collection includes letters printed materials, some personal to Greg but other material from a wide range of sources, going back to the 1960's...."

Ian Dearden, President, Queensland Council of Civil Liberties

Doc. No: XIV - .05 / Letter: 1994.11.29
From: Ian Dearden President, Queensland Council for Civil Liberties
"... I find particularly impressive the amazing amount of material Greg has collected which would otherwise be quite ephemeral.... I have recently completed a Maters thesis on the Queensland Anti-Discrimination Act. I regret to say that I only discovered the existence of the archive after completing the thesis. It is clear to me that the material in the archive would have been of great assistance to me if I had been aware of its existence earlier. It is for precisely this reason that it is essential that the contents of the archive and the index become publicly available and accessible so that this particular wheel does not need to be continually re-invented...."

Dr. M.D. Fletcher, Head of Department of Government, The University of Queensland

D.J. Zetlin, Lecturer in Political Science, The University of Queensland

Doc. No: XVI - .05 / Letter: 1994.12.06
From: Di Zetlin Lecturer in Political Science, Department of Government, University of Queensland
"... The archive would be an extremely valuable resource for the many undergraduate students who are learning to use the analysis of sexuality and sexual politics as a window into political change. There is sufficient primary material to satisfy researchers at more advanced levels. My judgement is that if this archive were developed by a reputable library it could form the nucleus for a substantive contribution to an understanding of Queensland history and politics as it has been refracted through repressive orientations to sexuality..."

Phillip Tahmindjis, Associate Professor of Law, Queensland University of Technology

Doc. No: XVII - .05 / Letter: 1995.06.01
From: Phillip Tahmindjis Associate Professor of Law, Queensland University of Technology.
"I have examined in detail Greg Weir's Archive 'Gay Issues 1893-1994' (and have copies of several volumes myself, which I find an invaluable research tool). I can say without equivocation that it represents a major resource for those involved in civil liberties issues, particularly with respect to the gay and lesbian communities...."

Judith O'Callaghan, Senior Curator, Decorative Arts and Design, Powerhouse Museum

Doc. No: XVIII - .05 / Letter: 1995.06.20
From: Judith O'Callaghan Senior Curator, Decorative Arts and Design, Powerhouse Museum, Sydney.
To: Greg Weir
"... At a wider level, this richly detailed archive contributes to a broader understanding of Australian history and culture. As you know, I am currently developing an exhibition on the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Grass which will open a the Powerhouse Museum in February 1996. I must say that out of all the archive material I have inspected during the course of my research, whether held by individuals, organisations or institutions, your collection is the most comprehensive. A diversity of viewpoints is represented within its broad chronological range, including as it does manifestos, letters, ministerial statements, speeches, press articles, editorials, newsletters, minutes, handbills, conference programs, circulars and even song lyrics. The process of accessing the material is made extremely easy by virtue of the way in which it has been carefully organised and catalogued. So much information can be gleaned from reading the index itself...."

Michael Bartos, Research Fellow, National Centre in HIV Social Research, Macquarie University

Doc. No: XIX - .05 / Letter: 1995.06.28
From: Michael Bartos Research Fellow, National Centre in HIV Social Research, School of Behavioural Sciences, Macquarie University, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
"... The material in this archive is an extremely valuable research tool in relation to the history of the public and policy response to HIV/AIDS in Australia.... Perhaps the most valuable aspect of the archive is its comprehensive index. The other substantial archive collection on related materials (the National AIDS Archive at the Noel Butlin Archive Centre, Australian National University) indexes its collection by extremely broad category. The availability of both a chronological and descriptive account of each document in the Greg Weir archive makes the collection much more readily useable. The HIV/AIDS archive compiled by Greg Weir is a research resource of major national significance in relation both to the analysis of HIV/AIDS and also more widely to the history of public health in Australia."

Paul Wilson, Journalist, Criminologist and Dean, School of Humanities and Social Science, Bond University

Doc. No: XX - .05 / Letter / 1995.06.28
From: Paul Wilson Dean, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Bond University, Queensland.
To: Greg Weir
"... The material is an invaluable research tool which has much relevance for both journalists and academics. I believe your collection adds significantly to our knowledge of past social, political, cultural and crime issues in Queensland. It is one of the most valuable sources of data for serious students of this State's history..."

Andrew Finegan, Co-Chair, Lesbian and Gay Caucus, Community and Public Sector Union (Qld)

Doc. No: XI - .05 / Letter: 1995.08.21
From: Andrew Finegan Co-Chair, Lesbian and Gay Caucus, Community and Public Sector Union, Queensland Branch.
"... The information you have collected provides an extremely important point of reference for any person who is interested in the development of the queer political and Civil Rights movement in Queensland. Such people would include political activists as well as students and other academics with an interest in these topics. One of the best attributes of the Archive is the way it is organised..."

Wayne Morgan, Lecturer in Law, University of Melbourne

Doc. No: XXII - .05 / Letter: 1995.08.22
From: Wayne Morgan Lecturer in Law, University of Melbourne.
"... Greg's work is a fascinating collection of Queensland (and Australian) political and cultural material.... Taken as a whole, the breadth and depth of the compilation is more than impressive: it could keep a researcher busy for quite some months! As an academic lawyer whose research concentrates on human rights, the value of Greg's compilation is difficult to over-estimate.... Greg's Index ... and his cross-references draw in still further sources."

Babs Kettle, Former Secretary to the Anglican Social Justice Committee, Brisbane.

Doc. No: XXIII - .05 / Letter: 1995.10.22
From: Babs Kettle Friend and former Secretary to the Anglican Social Justice Committee, Brisbane.
To: Greg Weir
"... For myself, there is a very distinct feeling of participating in an historic pursuit in my lifetime, (which has not exactly been devoid of historic-making adventures) when some of us began the pioneers lonely path towards changing one of society's shibboleths. Thank you for that."

Graeme Powell, Manuscript Librarian, Collection and Readers Services, National Library of Australia

Doc. No: XXIV - .05 / Letter: 1995.12.19
From: Graeme Powell Manuscript Librarian, Collections and Reader Services, National Library of Australia.
To:
"I am pleased to acknowledge receipt of the six cartons containing 25 volumes of papers entitled 'Gay Issues 1893-1994.' These volumes, with their detailed indexes will be an extremely valuable resource for social historians and other researchers.

Greg Weir, A letter of introduction

Doc. No: 'Serendipity - .05 / Letter: 1996.01.11
From: John Buchanan Deputy Director, Australian Centre for Industrial Relations, Research and Teaching, Sydney University.
To:
"... A major challenge of research centres such as ours is to obtain information on how official government policies and practices intersect with pressures and activities occurring beyond the state. We usually have to rely on the expensive and quite limited research tools of oral history and making use of publicly available material. The real strength of this archive is that it provides comprehensive written information of relevance to understanding how public agencies interact with agents 'in the field.' An additional feature to the collection is that... People involved in these processes rarely have the time to systematicly record their experiences. This archive therefore represents a very rare source of data..."
Greg Weir
Latrobe Terrace
Paddington 4064
David Studham Esq.
Kew. Vic 3101
Dear Davo,
Finally the introductory letter to the index. You have been so patient over these last four years while I have been working on it.
When people ask me what am I up to and the reply is archiving. There is usually a rather vacant almost glazed expression on their faces. This is followed by a polite and courteous response of, "that's interesting". Then we change to a subject that's more familiar. Your encouragement, and that of some others, has helped greatly as I've worked though the boxes of material. As you can see the index is truly "a tome".
The collection has been divided into twenty-five volumes, or sections. Usually based on a topic, each volume does include other material from the period. So for example a volume based on a Queensland specific topic will include material from other states and countries. In some cases various volumes overlap.
Initially I had expected to only do a couple of boxes from the total collection, but after inquiring as to the availability of the other material, it seemed necessary to continue. It is this process of archival archaeology that has lead to the sectional development of the collection.
There have been a number of documents which have not been included in the index. These are some legal documents and others mostly on health issues in the late 1980s and early nineties. These will just be deposited with the original collection and made available to the ardent researcher. Also there are photographs and posters yet to be looked through.
Each document in the collection has been filed in chronological order within each volume. The date of the document is on the first line of the entry.
In the case of documents which do not have a specific date, such as journal articles that are just dated by the month in which they were published, these have been dated at the first of that month. Readers will notice that in some cases this works, but on a few occasions it doesn't. For example, an article from a monthly newspaper published halfway through a month which reports news for that month. There are other sorts of documents where this apparent anomaly also occurs, such as, documents which are chronologies. In the case of documents where only the month or year are known, these are dated at the beginning of the known period.
The documents have been allocated a number within each of the volumes. In the index to the collection the document number is followed by the volume number. For example, an entry beginning with "Document No. 303 - 23, means that the document is the 303 document contained in the 23rd volume of the collection.
The type of document; where applicable, to who the document is sent and the source of the document is located just under the document number and date line.
A description of the document concludes each entry. In most cases this is drawn from the text of the document. If you refer to the first document of the archive and its accompanying file note you can see the advantage of this for the reader who just wants to skim through the material. In addition it will be a quick reference for researchers who only need a date or basic source information. From experience I am sure shelvers in a library will appreciate not having to unduly run around re-shelving the collection.
Every now and then you will come across a file note. I had hoped to do these more thoroughly, but time would not allow it. In some cases they are still in their draft form. It seemed more important to get the material out and about, than to fiddle about.
There is an end note on the last page of the index regarding a little task to make up for the hurried file notes.
Also on the last page is an extract from the last document of the collection. This extract is perhaps a bit vague, but is intended to convey to the reader, that the collection contains everything contained in my files. Even those things which may not seem at first glance to have much import. Such documents are included in that they may convey some meaning.
I am sure that some of the hand written minutes from the meetings you attended during your stay in Queensland will give you giggle or two. Researchers may also find value in looking at such documents as a 'mud map'. There also may be documents which I would regard as not significant, but others might.
It has been interesting to see what people have found interesting and what they haven't. This is why beyond the initial editing of documents when I collected the material there has been little other editing to the collection - even those notoriously dyslexic notes of mine.
The process of compiling the archive has been a lengthy one. Often done during intense bursts in the early hours of the morning, and at times when other things did not preoccupy my time. On some occasions these early morning hours at the keyboard did not provide the best conditions for accuracy. In most these lapses in accuracy have been picked up. If not they usually have been noted in the index. As for those that haven't well those with a more pedantic mind than mine can pick those up and correct them. It would have been good to have the luxury of putting it aside for a few months and coming back for one more final check. But I can't afford such an indulgence.
Davo, you don't know how many times the contents of this letter have been churned over and over as I've gone for my usual morning walk. Originally it was going to be one of those long and involved 'meaning of life' notes. But its is better that the documents speak for themselves, and I will save my thoughts on them for subsequent letters to you.
There isn't much more I want to add at this stage beyond the five lines on the dedication page. I just hope that the collection is put to good use.
As always, with fond regard,
9th January 1996
PS. Almost forgot about "serendipity", when I was rung and told of the imminent arrival of an unexpected letter. I had half a mind to leave it out of this introductory section as it all seemed finished. Your Queensland and Victorian experiences working on anti-discrimination legislation and the letter's reference to the multifaceted areas of policy development, gives you a good understanding of why it needed be included. As for archival 'serendipity' - there are a few un-expected surprises in the archive and index. It seemed important to incorporate this element and extra spark of discovery. Such an unusual addition would be lost in a too formal, totally indexed and catalogued archive. The more maverick researcher will enjoy the occasional surprise or 'serendipitous' discovery. I have over the years, and did again when this overdue letter arrived for its hurried inclusion. Must go! "All best". (13 January 1996)
Guide prepared November 1996. Last updated 30 December 1996.