Is there an online archive of GLBTQ media (etc) with local news and stories from years and decades ago?
StarObserver and SX don't seem to have publically accessible text archives of their articles, which is unfortunate, because it means GLBTQ Australians don't have easy and ready access to critical sources/references of collective GLBTQ history.
(I got to wondering all this after I came across the following via a Google search, which was interesting and had me wanting to know more about this story in particular: )
Political machinations have begun in earnest in the lead-up to the AIDS Council of NSW’s (ACON) annual general meeting, with a Liberal Party "stack" of the organisation’s membership rumoured to have been under way since August. ACON president Chris Gration would not comment on the stacking allegationsl evelled against a board member, although he said the board had watched the membership grow from a core financial membership of around 250 to around 800 in the past six months.
At the organisation’s October board meeting a further 296 new members were signed up * the last before the postal ballot to fill five general positions, plus the treasurer’s position on the board. The postal ballot opened today.
An ACON board member, David Buchanan, SC, told the Star Observer he was aware of a person who had brought up to 300 new members into the organisation.
"They started in the winter, and there has been nothing to indicate that they are people who would otherwise have joined ACON and wanted to participate in the work of the organisation," Buchanan said.
"My own impression has been that some new members have been Liberal Party members, and the person who has been doing this has got a strong connection with the Liberal Party and has been previously employed by a Liberal Party politician.
"What has been disappointing is that ACON is being treated as some sort of political plaything and … I am extremely concerned about the unhealthy consequences for ACON."
Buchanan said that ACON had recently undertaken the widest consultation process it had ever engaged in in order to set the future direction of the organisation.
"That is the way ACON should work out what it’s going to do in the future and how it will do it, rather than someone engaging in a grubby exercise in political stacking.
"I think it is unhealthy for people to threaten the fate of a community organisation for the sake of an excessive power grab."
Buchanan said that he wished he knew why someone would be motivated to "stack" ACON’s membership.
"It is very frightening * I have absolutely no idea what is to be gained from it."
Andrew Kirk, PLWHA representative on ACON board and president-elect of National Association of People With AIDS, said on Tuesday he was concerned that since Senator Marise Payne (Lib) left the board there has been no representation from "the other side of politics".
Kirk denied he had signed up hundreds of new members since August this year. But he did say he joined up "a few friends, eight or nine, who were also members of the Liberal Party", including NSW Liberal MLC Brian Pezzutti.
"I didn’t sign up anything like 300 members," Kirk said. "They are not there * try to find them."
However in a subsequent conversation, Kirk told the Star Observer in the last few months he had signed up "about 20 personal friends" from the Liberal Party and had delivered up to 75 other membership forms to ACON.
"I knew when Brian [Pezzutti] joined in August people would suddenly feel threatened … I was testing their commitment to bipartisanship," said Kirk, a former member of the Liberal Party.
"Of course I started the rumour [about a Liberal Party stack] * I wanted to tell who was trustworthy and who wasn’t * who was prejudicial against Liberal Party members and who was not."
Kirk said nearly all the Liberal Party members he had joined up to ACON were gay men: "It’s not like we are joining up the right wing of the Liberal Party here."
He told the Star Observer two NSW Upper House Labor backbenchers, Dr Meredith Burgmann and Jan Burnswoods, had since been admitted as new ACON members.
But Buchanan said: "I am not at all surprised that there would be a response to try and counteract the effect of what is looking like a Liberal Party stack."
Kirk said he was motivated by a desire to have more positive people elected to the ACON board, and to continue ACON’s bipartisan approach to its work.
"I am not convinced that bipartisanship is out the door * we will have to wait and see what the outcome of the election is."
‘It is unhealthy to threaten the fate of a community organisation for the sake of an excessive power grab.’ * David Buchanan, SC
ACON’s chief executive officer Robert Griew said he was now doing a random check of names and addresses of ACON members against the electoral role.
"If I found anything distinctly unlikely [in the list of members] then I would alert the returning officer and the current board," Griew said.
Part of the membership increase could be put down to a concerted membership drive over the last six months, and because Community Support Network volunteers had been offered free ACON membership, he said.
However, concerns remain about the sudden influx of new members. "The flood of membership in the last few months may well be something the incoming board wants to review," Gration said.
"While it is good to have a large and vital membership, I would not want the membership of ACON to be anything other than strong, committed supporters of the organisation."
Gration said it was "incredibly important that ACON is and remains a non-partisan organisation".
Returning officer Bruce Pollack told the Star Observer David Stone had been elected unopposed as president, Craig Patterson as vice-president and Fraser Drummond as secretary.
An election will be held for the position of treasurer, to be fought out between Alison Cunningham and Adam Davis. Pollock said 10 people were contesting for five general positions on the ACON board.
They were Chris Gration, Simon Finlay, Andrew Grulich, Gary Lee, Perry Head, Terry Nelson, David Buchanan, Adam Davis, Paul Cummins and Shayne Mallard.
Pollack said the postal ballot closed on November 19 at 6pm, with results to be announced at ACON’s AGM on November 23.
More generally, I'd love to hear views from anyone who has been involved in GLBTQ history projects with an Australia focus (web, video, books, etc, etc) that could give advice on an idea for one such regional project.
Last edited by Bren: 20th October 2008 at 06:39 PM