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Acknowledgement of Country

Harbour City Bears acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the lands we are on. We acknowledge their continuing connection to this land and to culture. We acknowledge the significant contributions Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have made to this Country and recognise the important role they continue to play within our diverse communities.

Always was, always will be, Aboriginal land.


Harbour City Bears is Sydney’s only community group for bears – hairy gay men – our admirers and friends. We hold over 140 events each year – with weekly socials, quarterly dance parties, regular dinners and other outings through the year culminating in our two annual festivals, Bear Essentials & Bear Pride. Currently we have over some 1200 members making us the largest Bear association in Australia and the Southern Hemisphere!

  • Two annual festivals – Bear Essentials during Mardi Gras, and Bear Pride in the cooler months, are Australia's Premier Gay Bear Community Festivals and attract visitors from interstate and overseas to join and celebrate with Sydney’s vibrant bear culture.
  • Dance parties including quarterly Bear Pit and the iconic UnderBEAR during Mardi Gras.
  • Socials every Friday night at The Oxford Hotel in Darlinghurst and Sunday afternoon at The Town Hall Hotel (The Townie) in Newtown.
  • Press Paws is our monthly gayming event. Nintendo Switch tournaments for prizes. Come and play or just watch!

  • Community health & well-being events
  • Fundraising for community charities
The proceeds from our events and fundraising are all invested back into the club, or donated to the community charities that we support.


Postal address:

Harbour City Bears Inc.

PO Box 1532 Darlinghurst

NSW 1300 Australia

We Are All One Bear Family

There have been instances in the past where attitudes have been shown which do not align with what we strive to be, attitudes which belong firmly in the past. We aim to move beyond these and forward to a more open, friendly and inviting community.

Any vilification of any person by age, gender, orientation, size, race, or any form of personal shaming to any member, guest or venue employee will not be accepted. Equality, acceptance and kindness should be the norm, not the exception. As a group, we are a minority within a minority, we should never be putting down others, but raising everyone up to a higher standard and being respectful at all times.

The Harbour City Bears committee, as always, reserves the right to discipline any member found breaching these guidelines as per the Harbour City Bears constitution. Any non-members found to be breaching the above may be asked to leave any of our private events.

If you ever feel uncomfortable at any of our events, please feel free to see one of our committee members immediately, who will always be wearing either a committee shirt or a committee badge and we will address your concerns as best we can.

If you wish to submit any complaint/details via email or anonymously, you can do so here.  Any submissions are treated with utmost privacy.



The Harbour City Bears Committee

The Harbour City Bears Constitution

The Harbour City Bears constitution is available here.

Lifetime Membership

Is there someone that you think deserves a life membership for their dedication to the bear community?
There is a process that needs to be followed as per the constitution (see below) - here's an easy to follow form for people to fill out. 

Life Membership Nomination Form

Harbour City Bears Constitution 

- September 2019

"6. Appointment of life members

(1) A nomination for life membership must be made in writing to the secretary, with the written support of 20 ordinary members of the association and with the written consent of the person being nominated for life membership.

(2) The committee must consider the nomination at its next scheduled meeting and must resolve at that meeting whether to accept or reject the nomination.

(3) If the committee accepts the nomination, then the nomination shall be put to the next general meeting of the association for ratification by the membership."


The International Bear Brotherhood Flag was designed to represent the bear subculture within the LGBT community. The colours of the flag are meant to include the colours of the furs of animal bears throughout the world, not necessarily referring to human skin and hair colour tones: Dark brown, orange/rust, golden yellow, tan, white, gray, and black. The flag was designed with inclusion in mind. The gay bear culture celebrates secondary sex characteristics such as growth of body hair and facial hair, which is typically considered a "bear" trait.


Craig Byrnes created the Bear pride flag in 1995. Byrnes' undergraduate degree in psychology involved designing a senior project about the bear culture that has exploded since the early 1980s, of which he had first-hand experience. He thought it might be fitting to design a flag that would best represent the bear community and include it with the results of his research. To do this, he received help from another influential member of the bear cultural community. Four variations were sewing machine-constructed and Byrnes won approval to display the four 3-by-5-foot (0.9 m × 1.5 m) prototype flags at the Chesapeake Bay Bears "Bears of Summer" events in July 1995. The winning design (a version created by Paul Witzkoske) is a field of simple horizontal stripes with a paw print in the upper left corner

By Kicior99 - Own work, CC BY 3.0,

The bear flag flown next to the rainbow flag as an expression of bear and gay pride

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