COAL was formed late in 1993 with a small group of
lesbians to work on language for the Platform of Action for
Beijing ’95. In 2021 we made a small variation in the capitalisation of our organisational name (changing it from COAL to CoaL) when we re-designed our logo,

* Eileen Pittaway attended the Asia/Pacific Forum in
Manila in 1994 to work on a draft action plan which
covered a number of areas nominated as important for
women – lesbian issues were not considered important
although some language emerged.

* This draft plan was worked on by Australian NGOs
through CAPOW and meetings were held in various
locations to pool ideas.

* OSW and the Federal Minister (Carmen Lawrence)
managed to get funding from the Federal Government for
various meetings and reports; and importantly to send
representatives to Beijing. The Australian Government
delegation consisted of men and women!

* Many terms for lesbian issues were drafted for the
language in the Platform of Action and the final
compromise of sexual orientation that was finally written
into parts of the sections in the Platform for Action
was hard won.

* COAL had a high profile in Beijing both at the NGO
gathering and at the Conference where myself and Eileen
represented lesbian issues and lobbied hard.

* COAL continued to attend CSW meeting at the UN
and was instrumental in drawing up the report from
Australian NGOs to rebut the Howard Government’s report
to OSW. It created publicity in Australia when I presented
it to delegates in New York in 1996. 
Written by Barbara Palmer, 2010

(See also Consie Lamour, Social Policy Group, 27.9.75, UN Fourth World Conference on Women: Planning, Setbacks and Achievements, Current Issues Brief 5, 1995-96.0