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Greg Weir

  • Clive Moore

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How do political activists begin? What is their motivation? For quiet Greg Weir, just graduated as a trainee school teacher from Kelvin Grove College of Advanced Education in 1976, it was being refused employment by the Queensland government because he was a spokesperson for a gay student support group. Minister for Education Val Bird said in Parliament that ‘student teachers who participated in homosexual and lesbian groups should not assume they would be employed by the Education Department on graduation’. With his future as a teacher destroyed, Greg became one of Queensland's best-known political activists. His cause was taken up by the Australian Union of Students and he became a catalyst in developing awareness of gay and lesbian issues all over Australia. Greg was then employed as a staff member in the office of Senator George Georges and later Senator Bryant Burns, and became a Labor Party activist, influential in the peace, anti-nuclear, education and civil liberties movements in the 1970s and 1980s. He also helped set up HIV/AIDS awareness groups in the 1980s, and went on to become one of the central organisers of the campaign for gay law reform in 1989–90, which culminated in the decriminalisation of male homosexuality in 1990. In 1991 Greg was involved in campaigns to include homosexuality as a category in new antidiscrimination legislation.

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Greg Weir

  • Clive Moore

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