I want to take part, but I’m scared of being on TV or identified in public!
Ride anonymously by wearing sunglasses, body paint, wigs, masks, outfits (who said you had to be naked?), or weird and wonderful paraphernalia. Disguise yourself in your own creative way, and incorporate messages for your cause while you do it! (Read here for some ideas.)
Is WNBR legal?
A lot of people worry about this issue because in NSW there are two offences that are sometimes applied to instances of public nudity by the police:
1. Obscene Exposure: “A person shall not, in or within view from a public place or a school, wilfully and obscenely expose his or her person.”
2. Offensive Conduct: “A person must not conduct himself or herself in an offensive manner in or near, or within view or hearing from, a public place or a school.”
It is our position that for the several reasons of context, such as that WNBR comprises a large number of people being naked in a non-sexual manner, with a peaceful community spirit, and that it is a special event specifically for the purpose of raising awareness for a cause, this particular instance of public nudity is not judged by relevant standards to be obscene (as relating to the ‘Obscene Exposure’ offence), or offensive (as relating to the ‘Offensive Conduct’ offence), and thus in relation to those two offences, is in accordance with the law.
These laws are designed for genuinely obscene or offensive acts in today’s community such as taking your clothes off to perform a sex act in public – but not WNBR, where you are simply being nude.
Speaking to ‘obscene’, the Western Australian Law Reform Commission stated in 1985:
“As with the existing provision, nudity in itself is not obscene. Nor is wilful exposure of the genitals. It is the circumstances in which the exposure takes place and before whom that may render the exposure obscene.”
“Material that causes outrage or extreme disgust. The Guidelines distinguish between material that may offend some sections of the adult community, and material which offends against generally accepted standards, and is therefore likely to offend most people.”
We are consulting with experienced lawyers about our position and we will start to defend it in any situation in which this matter may arise. We know that our demonstration, as designed and intended, is legal.
We will not be stifled by out-of-date law enforcement decisions that no longer reflect the changed community standards in mainstream Australian society in assuming what is offensive or not. World Naked Bike Ride is loved by street crowds worldwide, including elsewhere in NSW locally, as shown by many YouTube videos of the public cheering on our riders and having a laugh.
As Classification Australia intimates, someone will always be offended at something. Australian law rules in favour of the majority, not vocal minorities.
If you are still worried about this issue, just wear something during the ride.
Important note: you are responsible for how you conduct yourself in every way during our public community demonstration. Sexual and anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated, and we will immediately call the police if you conduct yourself in this manner.
Fun fact: “Obscene exposure” in NSW doesn’t apply to the female breast! So that part of your beautiful self isn’t as much to worry about.
Is WNBR family-friendly?
YES. Social nudity has nothing to do with being family-friendly or not. The culture of naturism demonstrates that kids are actually healthier when they grow up seeing what the human body looks like. So let’s talk about the NSW rules around cycling. There are no restrictions on children riding their bicycle on the road, and normal cycling road rules apply to them. Use your discretion about how you involve your children in our community ride. Our ride marshals will make sure the ride stays in a cohesive group, so that no one will be stranded at any point during the ride.
One great way to involve your kids safely during the ride is to place them in a bicycle-mounted child seat or buggy. Here’s some great info and ideas. Don’t forget to bring helmets for them – that’s still a legal requirement!
If planned well, bringing your children to World Naked Bike Ride Sydney may be an incredibly positive experience for them – especially in regards to body positivity. What message do you want to give to your children? You decide.