Words: Steve Brown
The site of a memorial to the victims of the gay hate crimes in Sydney from the 1970s to the 1990s has been revealed.
For three decades between the 1970s and 2000, the parks and coastline surrounding Sydney were the scenes of a huge number of brutal deaths involving gay men, many of whom were found at the foot of cliffs.
Many of the men had their cause of death listed as the result of suicides or accidents, but rumours had swirled for years that homophobic gangs roamed the city's known gay meeting areas looking for victims to attack.
In 2015, NSW police reopened investigations into as many 88 deaths involving men in Sydney between 1976 and 2000 as part of 'Operation Parrabell', to ascertain whether the deceased were in fact the victims of anti-gay hate crimes.
Now, in memory of those who were killed, Waverley Council has approved Marks Park, just south of Bondi Beach, as the site of the memorial. The same location where many men lost their lives, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
Marks Park is on the Bondi to Tamarama coastal walk and around $100,000 being set aside for the project.
Waverley Mayor John Wakefield said: “I see this as a very important monument to these tragic events.
“I believe it has a very strong political angle as well. This is a clear, public expression across the community that this was done.”
ACON CEO Nicolas Parkhill – who has been working since 2015 to establish a memorial to the victims – added: “The focus of many of these violent attacks was in, and around, Marks Park.
“This memorial will help acknowledge and heal the trauma these events have caused for the families of the victims as well as the LGBTI community and many local residents.”