New for 2023
A three-part series for ABC that sees comedian Zoë Coombs Marr engage with the untold and fascinating queer (LGBTQI+) history of Australia - a place of gay Diggers, lesbian convict gangs, trans pioneers and cross-dressing bushrangers.
From Cook to convicts to the ANZACS – most of us who’ve sat through primary school think we kinda know Australian history. But there’s another, hidden history – one of gay diggers, lesbian convict gangs, trans entrepreneurs and cross-dressing bushrangers. Heck, Colonial Australia was essentially founded on homophobia. In 1787, Captain Arthur Phillip wrote that in the new colony “there are two crimes that would merit the sentence of death; murder and sodomy.” Criminalised and pathologised, living with the constant threat of persecution and worse, Queers have long known it makes sense to stay out of the spotlight. And consequently, LGBTQI+ histories have stayed hidden. This means that for Queer people, attempting to find our predecessors is a tricky process. Our stories exist in the margins, and we have to read between the lines of the official texts to find evidence of our existence. Queerstralia, a landmark documentary series hosted by award-winning comedian Zoë Coombs Marr, sets out to redress this imbalance. It will wipe away the straightwashing and look into the untold and frankly FASCINATING Queer history of Australia. So trim your nails and roll up your sleeves, because we’re going far deeper than sequins and Priscilla.
A Guesswork Television production presented by Screen Australia and the ABC in association with VicScreen. Principal Production Funding from Screen Australia. Produced with the assistance of VicScreen. Created, written and hosted by Zoë Coombs-Marr. Series Producer Plum Stubbings, Executive Producer Jon Casimir. ABC Manager Factual Julie Hanna.
Queerstralia premieres Tuesday, 28 February at 8.30pm on ABC TV and ABC iview.
Join award-winning comedian and professional lesbian Zoë Coombs Marr as she uncovers hidden LGBTQIA+ histories in a landmark documentary series, Queerstralia, premiering on Tuesday, 28 February at 8.30pm on ABC TV and ABC iview.
Across three episodes, the series will wipe away the straightwashing and peer into the untold and frankly fascinating Queer history of Australia. You’ll meet gay diggers, lesbian convict gangs and trans pioneers, cross dressing bushrangers, legendary drag acts and the modern-day heroes who have fought for change and acceptance.
You’ll understand how colonisation affected First Nations sexualities, how the Queer community has found strength in diversity and how hard life can be when you are criminalised and pathologised just for being your authentic self.
Along the way, you’ll encounter stories of protest and persecution, of love and despair, of adaptability and resilience. You’ll see how far this country has come and how far it has to go.
Throughout the series, Queer Australians of all stripes will join Zoë to explore significant moments of their lives and our shared history.
Activist, writer and actor Nayuka Gorrie will also be on hand to help guide us through Indigenous experiences.
Okay everyone, trim your nails and roll up your sleeves, because Queerstralia is going far deeper than sequins and Priscilla.
Discover a suite of LGBTQIA+ programs and archive content that are currently available on ABC iview and ABC listen.
Production Credits: A Guesswork Television production for the ABC. Major production investment from Screen Australia in association with the ABC. Financed with support from VicScreen. Developed with assistance of the Judith Nelson Institute. Created, written and hosted by Zoë Coombs-Marr. Director Stamatia Maroupas. Series Producer Plum Stubbings. Executive Producer Jon Casimir. ABC Manager Factual Julie Hanna.