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Peter 'Bon' Bonsall-Boone given posthumous Order of Australia

Peter ‘Bon’ Bonsall-Boone, the LGBTI rights activist who died last month without fulfilling his wish to marry his partner of over 50 years, has been posthumously awarded the Order of Australia.

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Bonsall-Boone was recognised in today’s Queen’s Birthday Honours list for his many achievements in promoting LGBTI rights including being a foundation member of the Campaign Against Moral Persecution (CAMP) and his work in the HIV/AIDS Community Support Network.

He was the founder of ‘Phone a Friend’ which is now the Gay and Lesbian Counselling Service of New South Wales and one of the ’78ers, the bold participants in Sydney’s first gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

His partner Peter de Waal was also acknowledged in today’s honours for his work with CAMP, the phone service and his work as an author and health educator.

De Waal has confirmed that Bonsall-Boone learned of his award prior to passing away, but has told SBS that he died with great disappointment over Australia’s lack of progress in addressing marriage equality.

“Bon certainly died being very disappointed that we were not able to be married, and to wipe away the label we were carrying for all those years in different ways under different circumstances as second-class citizens,” de Waal said.

The couple were open about their sexuality at a time when being homosexual was still illegal in Australia, this lead to their groundbreaking appearance together on the ABC program Chequerboard in 1972.

The documentary which showed their shared life and even a brief kiss was very controversial at the time, but showed same-sex couples to many Australians for the first time.

OIP Staff

 


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