In 1989, after moving to Perth from Sydney, he launched not-for-profit fund-raising group Club West, performing drag queen cabaret and comedy shows at the WA Italian Club in North Perth and the Irish Club in Subiaco.
Now 59, and having secured money for organisations including the WA Aids Council and Pride WA, and helping build orphanages in Ghana, Uganda and Cambodia, Terry is closing the club, with the last show this month.
The producer, MC and choreographer spoke to Guardian Express about his drive to launch Club West almost 25 years ago.
‘When the HIV virus hit Sydney in the early ’80s, there was a drug known as AZT and people thought it would be the silver bullet, but it was more toxic than expected and a lot of people died a very ugly death after taking it,’ he said.
‘So there was a real need to get volunteers in place for people who wished to die at home and I became a volunteer on 24-hour care teams.
‘I was very hands-on, getting to know these patients, and started to think, ‘how can I help make this better for them?’
‘I then set up this group and with every show we have given money away to HIV-related charities.’
Terry said he was forced to close the club as costs to put on shows were rising as attendee numbers dwindled.
Club West’s finale is at the WA Italian Club on August 17, featuring Hannah Conda. Tickets available at www.club west.com.au