Lavender News

“Lesbian Lives: Visibility, Activism, Women’s Rights” a conference for women 16-17 September 2023

Some of the women who attended (with fabulous banners in the background):

Sarah, Natalie, Anna, Viviane, Denise

Lavender & Carole

Viviane & Lavender

Some of the placards scattered around the hall

The following letter to Australian women is from Anna McCormak announcing the conference.

Dear Women

When was the last time yo   u went to a conference where (almost) all the speakers were lesbians, and all the presentations were about lesbian visibility, lesbian activism and lesbian involvement in the women’s rights struggle?

For me, this will be my very first one.  That’s possibly because I’m not a lesbian and women’s movement events don’t often focus primarily on the lesbian struggle. I am excited about this conference and so proud that IWD Meanjin Brisbane is hosting it. That’s largely because lesbians are on the front line in women’s struggle against gender ideology and sex self-identification.

I want to acknowledge the efforts of Helen Daintree who is working with me in organising this conference.

The conference is open to lesbians and other women – but not ALL other women.  If you forward this email to a friend and she wants to register, she’ll need to mention you as someone who can vouch for her when she returns her registration form.  Otherwise, as usual, I will vet everyone who wants to attend to ensure we will be safe.

There are three themes to this conference:

  1. The significance to the current struggles for women’s sex-based rights of a deeper  understanding of lesbian oppression – as women and, at the same time, as women who are same sex attracted.
  2. Why feminist lesbians left (or never joined)  LGBT lobby /political organisations. Lesbian insights for organising to protect women’s sex based rights from the agenda of those lobby groups.
  3. The medium to long term history and experience of lesbian struggles in Australia – wins and losses

The registration cost for the conference is:

Solidarity rate $100 or more

Regular rate $82

For women on full Age Pensions or Single Parent benefits $55

A Single day attendance $55

Registration includes lunch on each day plus coffee, tea, biscuits.

A conference dinner will be held at a local restaurant on Saturday 16 September.  The cost of the dinner is not included in conference registration.

The program is below to help you to decide.  You can see from the program there are lots of opportunities for discussion and networking. The registration form is also attached.  Download the document and complete it.  Then deposit your registration fee.  Then return the form.  Registrations will close on Monday 28 August ,but earlier registration will be appreciated.

For a registation form,, email

“Lesbian Lives: Visibility, Activism and Women’s Rights”

16 September Day One

“Lesbian Lives: Visibility, Activism and Women’s Rights”

16 September Day One

Time What Detail Who
11.00am Registration & Sales


11.30am Off video



Advise of dinner arrangements, we’ll leave at 5.45pm

11.45am On video

Chair: Helen

Welcome and Introduction


11.55pm What is IWD Meanjin Brisbane?

Background to IWD MB hosting this conference

12.10pm ‘Lesbian Shame in the Age of Pride’ Tracey Olverson
12.30pm ‘The Thirty Year Fight for Exclusive Lesbian Born Female Gatherings’ Jean Taylor
12.50pm Lunch
2pm ‘Transgender and the Erasure of Lesbianism’ Denise Thompson
2.20pm ‘Fixity and fluidity in sexual orientation’ Holly Lawford-Smith
2.40pm ‘Lesbians: The experience of colonisation, violence and erasure’ Susan Hawthorne wrote the paper, it will be presented by another woman.
3pm Panel Q and A End Video after Speaker 5 at 3pm
4pm Facilitated Small Groups
5pm Report back
5.30pm Housekeeping Helen
5.45pm Leave for Dinner

“Lesbian Lives: Visibility, Activism and Women’s Rights”

17 September Day Two

10am Off video

Housekeeping: Chair

Sales and Coffee

10.15am On video Introduction and Welcome to Day 2 Chair
10.20am ‘Theorising heterosexuality as ideology and system’ Bronwyn Winter wrote the paper, to be presented by Helen Daintree
10.40am ‘Lesbian Separatism: Consequences + Contributions Toward Women’s Community’ TBA at event
11am ‘Lesbian Rights are Human Rights: The Personal is Political and the Political is Personal’ Lavender
11.20am ‘Here come the lesbians:  the soundtracks of activism’ Helen Daintree
11.40am Off video Panel Q and A
12.10pm Lunch
1pm Facilitated Small Group Discussions
2pm Report back
2.15 Where do we go from here All
2.45 pm


Draw raffle

Farewell and possible walk at Indigiscapes or Cleveland Pt.

OR go for drinks

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