• 1973

    Gordon Doak comes out during Gay Pride Week.

    Gordon Doak, a gay man from the Western Suburbs, ran eight miles through the suburbs of Sunshine and Tottenham to City Square for a Gay Liberation demonstration.

    He famously carried a banner that read 'I am proud of my homosexuality. Please change the repression against homosexuals and let us live in peace'.

  • 1980s

    First Lesbian Mayor of Williamstown

    Geraldine Schutt elected as Councillor for City of Williamstown, she also served as the first female Mayor of Williamstown.

    Testimony from Jill Bilston about Geraldine Schutt.

  • 1981-2

    Gay Skate

    Disco on skates runs in Footscray, it later moves to Sunshine.

  • Early 1990s

    The City of Werribee is served by a gay Mayor.

  • 2000s to present

    Gay/drag nights at the Commercial Hotel

    The Commercial Hotel in Yarraville has a long history of having gay and drag nights and is considered perhaps the most iconic GLBTIQ venue in the West.

  • January 2010


    In 2010 the GOWEST logo was initiated by Hobsons Bay City Council as a part of the Midsumma Festival.  GOWEST brings together local organisations and artists to support, represent and celebrate the GLBTIQ communities of Melbourne’s West.   

  • February 2010

    Hobsons Bay GLBTIQ Community Forum

    In addition to the events held for Midsumma, a GLBTIQ community forum was held in Hobsons Bay with over 90 people in attendance. 

    The forum aimed to give voice to the GLBTIQ community and identify how Council could better support and advocate for the GLBTIQ community.  The findings of the forum were summarised in a document entitled Supporting Queer Culture in the West; and included recommendations to be rolled out over a three year period.  

  • May 2010

    GLBTIQ Advisory Committee

    On 17th May 2010, Hobsons Bay City Council resolved to endorse the terms of reference for a GLBTIQ community advisory committee and called for public nominations for members.  The committee's goals' include informing Council of the needs of the GLBTIQ community within Hobsons Bay, assistance in developing policy, and evaluating existing Council services.

  • January/February 2011

    GOWEST at Midsumma

    GOWEST holds 10 events as part of Midsumma Festival, including a film screening, an art exhibition, a sailing day, and a rainbow families story time.

  • January 2011

    GOWEST takes part in its first ever Pride March together with neighbouring western region Councils' community and staff.

  • April 2011

    Gay and Lesbian Access to Social Sports (GLASS) established

    Victoria University in Footscray established the GLASS student club, a social sporting group for (though not exclusively) gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students at Victoria University. 

    They regularly organise a range of sporting activities in a friendly, supportive and inclusive environment.

  • June 2011

    West Hollywood

    Yarraville's Sun Theatre hosts a selection of Melbourne Queer Film Festival (MQFF) highlights in conjunction with Maribyrnong City Council. 

    This event has since continued in 2012 and 2013.

  • October 2011

    GLBLTIQ Western Region Councils' Working Group

    As a result of the Hobsons Bay GLBTIQ community forum, Hobson Bay City Council formed the first GLBTIQ Western Region Councils’ Working Group. 

    The group was established as a platform for information sharing and actions on GLTBIQ community issues of importance in the councils of Hobsons Bay, Brimbank, Melton, Wyndham, Maribyrnong, Moonee Valley and Melbourne. 

  • December 2011

    First Intersex Mayor

    Tony Briffa was elected as the world’s first openly intersex Mayor in the City of Hobsons Bay. 

    Tony is a long time GLBTIQ community supporter and advocate Councillor. 

  • January 2012

    Midsumma Opening Carnival

    GOWEST took part in Midsumma Festival’s opening Carnival for the first time by hosting a stall.

    Over 120,000 people attended the Carnival.

  • January/February 2012

    GOWEST Midsumma

    GOWEST hosted approximately 12 events including trivia, cabaret, rock-climbing, croquet and more.

  • May 2012

    International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO) Flag Raising

    Hobsons Bay was one of four Melbourne Councils that marked International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO) with the raising of a rainbow flag outside the Council's Altona offices, flying it alongside the Australian and Indigenous flags. 

    IDAHO began in 2004, and is recognised on 17th May each year due to being the date that the World Health Organisation removed homosexuality from the list of mental disorders in 1990.

  • January/February 2013

    GOWEST Midsumma

    With an increasing number of events and involvement each year, GOWEST in 2013 hosted 19 events as part of Midsumma.

    Events in 2013 included ghost tours, writing and storytelling workshops, a youth dance party and more.

  • July 2013

    WESTANDPROUD Project Commenced

    A partnership between RMIT and Hobsons Bay City Council is formed to develop WESTANDPROUD - a project that documents the lived-experiences of gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans*, intersex and queer (GLBTIQ) individuals living in Melbourne’s Western Region.

  • January/February 2014

    GOWEST Midsumma

    GOWEST holds 21 events during Midsumma, ranging from burlesque, ghost tours, sailing and dance parties to the WESTANDPROUD project launch and a rainbow pedestrian crossing.

Contribute to the WESTANDPROUD timeline.

This timeline is an evolving record of gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans*, intersex and queer (GLBTIQ) life in Melbourne’s Western Suburbs.

If you have facts, stories or images that you wish to contribute to this timeline, we would love to hear from you.