Date of Award


Document Type



Edith Cowan University

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts Honours


School of Arts and Humanities

First Supervisor

Kay Hearn


This study documented and reconstructed the stories of lesbians who experienced separatism during the 1970s and 1980s in Western Australia. This era of history has received little attention, particularly the Western Australian context, therefore sharing these marginalised women’s stories addresses the knowledge gap and provides a sense of place and identity in the past. I aimed to explore Western Australian examples of lesbian separatism in addition to aspects of identity, connection, community, and culture. The research involved a narrative study of stories by six informants who self-identify as lesbian, collected in multiple one-hour interviews in situ and reconstructed into a narrative chronology using structural and thematic analysis. The purpose of the narrative chronology was to understand the subjective experiences of separatists, their perspectives and meaning, and compare them to the broader experiences of separatists elsewhere. The study utilised feminist theory as a transformative advocacy lens, informing the structure of the research design. In addition, it used lesbian-feminist theory to provide cultural context to the experiences shared by informants. This study demonstrates a unique aspect of Western Australian history and allows lesbians to understand the richness of their culture and past.