The Greatest Menace

Unlocking the story of Australia’s gay prison.

Documentary in development (2019)


Homosexuality is the "greatest menace" facing Australia. Those were the words of the NSW Police Commissioner in 1958. Police agents rounded up gay men on the streets of Sydney and sent them to Cooma gaol, which the government boasted was only homosexual prison in the world. Meanwhile, an inquiry was launched into the "causes and treatment" of homosexuality and its subjects were found in the cells of Cooma gaol. This innovative historical documentary will unlock the archives and shed new light on our past, from the criminalisation of homosexuality, to gay aversion therapy using drugs and electric shocks, to the surviving practice of gay conversion therapy.


Simon Cunich & Patrick Abboud