“Fortunately, I was saved by the outreach workers of the Prostitute’s Collective of Victoria (PCV), rather than the Ladies of the Order of St. Mary’s giving out sandwiches.”
As a young, gay male born in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, on 26 January 1968, in one of the most conservative States and reactionary periods of time within the social and political period of the history of the State, Andrew left home as a 17 year old to live in Sydney.
During his time in Sydney, Andrew lived in the Gunnery Squats, a public, anarchic art collective in the inner-city suburb of Darlinghurst. The Gunnery Squats was home to subversive artists, people with alternative political ideals, queers and a menagerie of social outcasts. Andrew was known by his peers at the Gunnery by the moniker “Tinsel.”
During this period of his teens, Andrew began working at the infamous outdoor male sex work area of Darlinghurst, “The Wall“, a colonial style sandstone wall , built in 1870 as part of the Darlinghurst Prison, which still stretches 250 meters along Darlinghurst Road, between the queer Mecca of Oxford Street and the female street working area of Liverpool Street.
By the time he was 19, Andrew had relocated to Melbourne and was plying his trade as male sex worker in the St. Kilda district. As he described his time working within the St. Kilda district:
“Fortunately, I was saved by the outreach workers of the Prostitute’s Collective of Victoria, rather than the Ladies of the Order of St. Mary’s giving out sandwiches.”
Through his contact with Prostitute’s Collective of Victoria (PCV)), Andrew began his lifelong involvement in sex worker activism and with his peers, initiated the first male street based outreach service in St. Kilda and peer facilitated Needle Syringe Program.