National Film and Sound Archives preserves Gaywaves

National Film and Sound Archives preserves Gaywaves

LAST UPDATED // Monday, 25 August 2014 15:12 Written by // Cec Busby

2SERs iconic GayWaves program has been preserved by the National Film and Sound archives thanks to a bequest by the show’s former presenter and gay rights activist the late Dietmar Hollman.

Hollman bequeathed money in his estate and his collection of Gaywaves recordings  the National Film and Sound Archive to preserve the program which aired on 2SER from 1979 to 2005. Hollman’s bequest has also allowed the NFSA to acquire contemporary programs from JOY FM, 2SER and 3MDR to add to their collection.

When Gaywaves had its premiere on the community station in 1979, homosexuality was still illegal in all but one of Australia’s states and territories. The show aired weekly and aimed to provide the latest news and interviews and focused on stories relevant to the gay community.

The show was renowned for its commitment to delivering groundbreaking programming and once had an episode on lesbian sexuality withdrawn from broadcast for being indecent and obscene.

Listen to a selection of recordings below with further recordings available on the NFSA soundcloud.


Vitto Russo on the celluloid Closet

American activist, film historian and author Vito Russo interviewed on Gaywaves in February 1986 about his career, his book The Celluloid Closet: Homosexuality in the Movies and the portrayal of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender characters in films.


Timothy Conigrave on Soft Target

Actor, writer and activist Timothy Conigrave interviewed on Sydney gay and lesbian radio program Gaywaves in February 1986 about his critically acclaimed theatre production of Soft Targets, one of Australia’s first theatrical responses to HIV/AIDS. Conigrave’s major work and best-selling memoir Holding the Man was released just a few months after his death from an AIDS-related illness in October 1994.


Don Dunstan and the PorcoMadonna Affair

Dietmar Hollman reports for Gaywaves in December 1986 on the ‘Monsignor Porcamadonna’ affair, after former Premier of South Australia and then chairman of the Victorian Tourism Commission Don Dunstan was photographed at a book launch with gay community Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence member ‘Monsignor Porcamadonna’ (alter ego of Fabian LoSchiavo), attracting criticism from then state opposition leader Jeff Kennett and Italian community leaders. This recording also features an interview with Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence member Mother Inferior (Fabian LoSchiavo).


Image: Dietmar Hollman at 2SER


Cec Busby

Cec Busby

Cec Busby is the news editor of SX and online editor of

Leave a comment

You are commenting as guest.