Qtopia Sydney, Sydney’s first Queer Museum, has officially launched two thought-provoking and immersive exhibitions just in time for the commencement of Sydney WorldPride 2023.
February marks a milestone for the not-for-profit organisation, with its physical exhibition spaces being unveiled to the public for the first time at The Bandstand and the National Art School.
The two exhibitions provide a significant new offering to not only the Sydney public but national and international visitors choosing to visit the city, since there has previously been no dedicated place in the city for LGBTQIA+ history, art and culture.
The launch also coincided with the Lachlan and Sarah Murdoch Foundation announcing they will donate $1 million to fund Qtopia.
During her speech commemorating the opening, Sarah Murdoch said she was there as a supporter and advocate for Qtopia to be realised.
“I hope our donation will encourage many more corporates, foundations, and families to invest in what will be an amazing institution,” Murdoch said.
“An institution that not only protects, respects, and extends the quality of future Queer lives, but saves the lives of many young Australians.”
Greg Fisher, CEO of Qtopia Sydney, is overjoyed to finally be able to invite the community into the venues.
“To have the exhibitions open will be an amazing achievement, the Board and a team of people have committed themselves to Qtopia Sydney over many years and to see our vision come to life is thrilling,” Greg said.
In May 2022, the City of Sydney unanimously approved a $283,500 cash grant to support Qtopia Sydney establish a permanent LGBTIQA+ museum at the site of the former Darlinghurst Police Station.
As part of Sydney WorldPride, interim museum spaces will be set up at the Green Park Bandstand and the National Art School that explore the LGBTIQA+ communities through the lens of history, culture, art, HIV and AIDS, and contemporary issues.
“The Bandstand in Green Park and Building 11 in the National Art School are spaces that we hope will shine light on the past, as well as educate, celebrate, commemorate, empower and challenge communities far and wide.
“It was most important for us to showcase aspects of our community, our inaugural spaces, as well as to highlight some of the challenges we have faced over many decades.
“As you move through each space, you experience a multitude of different emotions. From the electric scenes of our inaugural site, The Bandstand, to the reverent atmosphere of Building 11, two vastly different stories are told and that’s what makes them so unique,” Greg continued.
The installation in Building 11 at the National Art School tells a story of the very space that cared for so many during the HIV/AIDS crisis – a place of deep humanity where patients, the medical fraternity and the community were centred.
“So many people have come on the journey, and we are currently seeking volunteers to continue to walk with us and assist us to host our spaces, particularly during Sydney WorldPride 2023,” Greg explained.
While the exhibition spaces take over Darlinghurst, the organisation is still advocating to secure the former Darlinghurst Police Station as their permanent premises.
“We will continue to advocate hard for the former Police Station to house Sydney’s first Queer museum. Due to its geographic and historic relevance it has the potential of being a liberating force for past wrongs to our community,” Greg concluded.
The Darlinghurst exhibitions will run throughout the entirety of Sydney WorldPride 2023 from 11am to 7pm, with Building 11 coming to a close on March 5.
Last Updated on Feb 20, 2023