Australian poly pioneers profiled
Early pioneers of Australia's poly movement — dating way back to the 1990s — tell their story in their city's monthly arts & entertainment magazine:
Free Love: The Age of Polyamory
Not everyone subscribes to a monogamous society. Time Out meets some Melburnians who keep things free and easy.
By Merran Reed
“Yeah. But don’t you get jealous?” is a question Anne Hunter, a polyamory educator, has been asked countless times. She’s been in concurrent loving relationships for over 20 years and is the co-founder of PolyVic [www.polyvic.org.au/], an organisation that runs monthly discussion groups and social events for poly-folk.
Her long-term partner, Pete, has been with his girlfriend for 13 years. Anne’s lover of seven years lives in Sydney with his partner. And then those Sydney-siders have sweethearts that they date as well. And on it goes.
It was actually Pete that struggled with jealousy at the start. Anne, 50, recalls, “It really took him taking responsibility for those emotions and doing things to desensitise himself for us to move forward. At the same time, I had to learn to be more compassionate and to negotiate around what he wanted to hear and what he didn’t want to hear. I wasn’t good at that at the start.”
Anne’s identified as non-monogamous since the '90s. But back then they didn’t have a name for it. That was until the day Pete came home after having coffee with Dr Maria Pallotta-Chiarolli, a senior lecturer in Social Diversity and Health at Deakin University, who suggested that they could be polyamorous....
Pete declared to Anne upon getting home, "There’s a word for us!" They looked it up on the internet and discovered there were people all over the world practicing polyamory.
A couple of years later, Anne and Pete, who live in Brunswick West together, ran a workshop on polyamory at an alternative lifestyle festival. That was when they met other poly-folk, “I felt like I’d come home,” Anne says. After that, they started PolyVic.
Anne asserts that polyamory isn’t for everyone. “You’ve got to really enjoy relating to people and spending time with them. You’re going to get confronted with a lot of your insecurities whether you like it or not. So if you’re not looking for personal growth, don’t bother.”
Having multiple relationships challenges what Hollyweird movie endings have instilled in us, rejecting the idea that one person can make you complete. “That’s what I love,” Anne exclaims. “You’re free to enjoy what is organically real about the relationship. You don’t have to make it anything else.”...
Read on (April 24, 2013).
Anne, Pete, and others were recently on Australian national TV. Getting in the media one place will often get you invitations elsewhere.