Proud Awards 2021: Connections’ Tim Brown joins Hall of Fame

One of the owners of the iconic Connections Nightclub and professional party perfectionist Tim Brown has been named as this year’s inductee into The Proud Awards Hall of Fame.

An integral part of the southern hemisphere’s longest running LGBTQIA+ club, Tim has been part of the Connections Nightclub family for 30 of the club’s magical 46 years.

We caught up with Tim ahead of this weekend’s Proud Awards ceremony to discuss the role Connections Nightclub has played in Perth’s LGBTQIA+ scene, and reminisce about some of the fabulous shows that have dazzled on the Connies stage.

“It’s said way too often these days but all I can really say is that it is an honour because it really is,” Tim says of Connections’ legacy as the longest running gay bar in the bottom half of the world.

“Not many people get to be involved in something so very special and certainly not for as long as I have. Incredible too because such special things and places don’t last. Certainly not for over four decades.”

“Oh my goodness, there have been so many wonderful shows across the years, with so many wonderful performers and producers from both inside the team and out,” Tim continues.

“If I were to be selfish (which I figure I’m allowed a little bit of at this point!) my favourite would be Supermodels which was us doing Ballroom in the early 90s. As was the case at that time and for many years, I produced and directed that one… that’s the selfish bit!”

“Full catwalk into the audience, incredible production (courtesy of one of our greatest mentors, Malcolm Hughes) costumes by Aaron Davey and of course Madonna’s Vogue which had just been released.”

Tim says that’s just one highlight from hundreds of amazing queer shows, recalling drag queens flying from the ceiling, pyrotechnics and music video quality dance numbers.

“BarbieQ who runs all the shows now has made so much great work over the years. The highlight is really that the queens and the production team produce such amazing, high quality work again and again.”

We love Tim Brown

Of his three decades at the club as both employee and owner, Tim reflects on some of his favourite memories at 81 James Street, Northbridge.

“I think some of my greatest memories are those huge nights, big birthdays and Prides, times when we extended the club out into the carpark out the back or took over Plaka.”

Tim is also proud of the range of show-stopping, theatre-quality productions the team have been able to pull off over the years.

“[We’ve] built trees in the middle of the room, produced shows in the round, put the legendary Strykermeyer on a scissor-lift in the carpark out the back having him perform on three levels; the carpark, at the club (when there were windows out that way) and then over and above the terrace with a three story high dress that unfurled as he performed,” Tim explains.

But Tim says it’s the little things, as much as the larger-than-life campery, that makes Connections so legendary.

“Being on the dancefloor on a hot summer’s night with shirtless men everywhere but then seeing, amongst them all, two women dancing together topless and no-one was batting an eyelid. It’s being on the terrace, in the thick of it, seeing the sheer breadth of our community all having an amazing time and getting to meet each other and realizing that, much as they’re all very different that they’re wanting the same things.”

But most of all, Tim is proud that so many are able to call Connections Nightclub home.

“I’d like to think it was a home. A safe place, a place of refuge and a place of escape. Escape from the everyday and somewhere that they could truly be themselves.”

“I’d love to think that it continued being that for many decades more. The world has changed a hell of a lot in those thirty years for our people but we all still need places where we feel we belong, where we can let our hair down and feel truly free.”

Tim Brown joins Aunty Vanessa Smith, June Lowe, Mark Reid, Strykermeyer and DJ Seb Sharp in The Proud Awards Hall of Fame.

The Proud Awards is being held this Saturday 9th October at Connections Nightclub. For tickets and more info, head over to Facebook.

Leigh Andrew Hill

You can support our work by subscribing to our Patreon
or contributing to our GoFundMe campaign.

Tags: , ,