Craig Frederic Johnston was born at Surry Hills, Sydney, on 13 January 1951, the youngest child of Frederick Bourke Johnson and his wife Norma Dawn née Finely.
Occupation & interests
Craig Johnston was educated at Matraville Soldiers? Settlement school and Matraville High School. He studied commerce at the University of New South Wales and transferred to Arts at the University of Sydney in 1973. He joined the Australian Labor Party while still at high school. Between 1973 and 1976 he was involved with the Students Representative Council and the Communist Party of Australia 1974-76. In 1977 he worked in Melbourne as the education vice president of the Australian Union of Students. He taught politics at Sydney University from 1978 before working as a public policy analyst in the community, government and private sectors. He lives in Darlinghurst where he operates his social policy business. He became secretary of the East Sydney branch of the ALP in 1983.
Craig Johnston joined Sydney Gay Liberation in 1973, was involved in the first Sydney Gay Mardi Gras in 1978, and was a co-founder of the Gay Rights Lobby in 1980. In 1985, together with Alderman Brian McGahen, he organised the first AIDS candlelight rally in Australia. He edited Consumer rights and utilities: issues and options for New South Wales (1995) and A Sydney Gaze: the making of gay liberation (1999). He has been a member of the Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby, Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, and the AIDS Council of New South Wales. In 1986, he donated his collection of gay newspapers and magazines to the City of Sydney Library.
Local government service
Craig Johnston was elected Alderman for Macquarie Ward, 14 April 1984 until 26 March 1987 when the Council was replaced by a three-member Commission. He was an openly gay Alderman and committed to the gay liberation movement. In 1984 he was a member of the Works and Housing Committee, the Properties Committee, the Building and Development Committee and the City Planning Committee. He was a member of the Major Building and Development and City Planning Committee between 1985 and 1987. In 1986 Johnston was elected as a member of the Australian Labor Party but became an independent Councillor, after being expelled from the ALP in October 1985.
City of Sydney Archives: Aldermen’s Files; Photo: CRS 191/73 and AF; Alderman Craig Johnston’s subject files; Records of Oxford Street Committee to elect Craig Johnston