Photograph: Wikimedia Commons | The old Darlinghurst Police Station
Photograph: Wikimedia Commons | The old Darlinghurst Police Station
3 min read

Funding has been committed to help establish a long-awaited Australian LGBTIQA+ museum to be based in Sydney.

The former Darlinghurst Police Station at Taylor Square has been pegged as the desired site for the new museum, as it was once used as a lockup for gay men in the 1970s and ’80s, including the violent arrests of peaceful gay and lesbian protestors in 1978 which led to the creation of the first Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras in 1979. ⁠

The preferred site is now owned by NSW Health and is being used as administration offices, but Qtopia and the council are lobbying health minister Brad Hazzard to transform the site into a queer memorial.


The City of Sydney has committed almost $300,000 in seed-funding and Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the initiative was unanimously supported by the City Council as a way of marking this year’s International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT).

“As one of the most LGBTIQA+ inclusive communities not just in Australia but around the world, Oxford Street is the perfect home for a museum that celebrates the history and culture of the LGBTIQA+ community,” the Lord Mayor said.

“Qtopia Sydney’s proposed museum aims to provide a safe and inclusive space for the public to celebrate, remember and learn more about the rich history of Sydney’s LGBTIQA+ community.

“And with Sydney hosting the LGBTQIA+ community’s flagship global festival WorldPride early next year, now is the time to bring this museum to life. It would educate visitors and locals on Sydney’s role in the LGBT rights movement and HIV/AIDS response, and become a contemporary beacon for pride and diversity.

“The City is proud to step up with $300,000 to help establish this important new cultural centre.”

Qtopia CEO Greg Fisher said the timing is perfect for the Sydney project.

“We are ready to stand as a proud, new, celebratory, amazing museum, ready to welcome the world for WorldPride 2023, and the community before and after,” Greg Fisher said.

“We’re ready to succeed and to be a meaningful part of Council’s important Oxford Street precinct rejuvenation initiative.”

Clover Moore
Clover Moore

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the City echoed Qtopia’s call for the State Government to provide the former Darlinghurst Police Station at Taylor Square as the site for a permanent museum.

“While this building contributed to injustices suffered by many LGBTIQA+ people, transforming it into a significant community resource will support the healing of past injustices, address past wrongs, and celebrate the community’s resilience,” Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.

“Museums and cultural spaces play a central role in how we remember the past and interpret the present. Qtopia will be a place to celebrate the glamour, confetti and outrageous fun of parades and parties, but also to reflect on hard-fought gains and unite in the ongoing fight for equality.”

World Pride Support

The City of Sydney has also allocated in-kind support worth $650,000 to Sydney World Pride 2023 – adding to the City’s $500,000 cash sponsorship of the prestigious event.

Sydney World Pride 2023 will incorporate much-beloved Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras festival events plus an additional 200+ arts and sport events, theatre, concerts, parties, First Nations programming and a human rights conference.

“We’re thrilled to welcome the world to Sydney for this incredible celebration of pride and diversity – the first time World Pride has been held in the Southern Hemisphere,” the Lord Mayor said.

“It will be one of the largest events hosted in Sydney since the Olympic Games, allowing us to showcase Sydney’s bright and inclusive energy to the world, and bring significant and lasting economic, social and cultural benefits to the city.”

Sydney World Pride will take place from 17 February to 5 March 2023.

Last Updated on May 18, 2022

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