The former Darlinghurst Police Station at Taylor Square – a building that was once the site of many injustices committed against members of the LGBTQIA+ community – could soon be home to Sydney’s first dedicated LGBTQIA+ museum. The City of Sydney has pledged $300,000 to help fund the museum, a project that has been driven by not-for-profit organisation Qtopia Sydney.
The City of Sydney has also advocated for NSW Health – which owns the building and uses it for administrative offices – to make the Edwardian-era station available for the museum.
“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,” said City of Sydney lord mayor Clover Moore in a statement.
The museum would host permanent and temporary exhibitions telling the story of LGBTQIA+ experiences and history in Australia. One exhibition would recreate nearby St Vincent’s Ward 17 South – the first dedicated HIV/AIDS unit in Australia – chronicling the AIDS crisis from the discrimination and fearmongering directed at the queer community, to the care shown to patients in that ward.
Other exhibitions will include an exploration of the changing legality of homosexuality in Australia, from illegality to decriminalisation and the same-sex marriage postal vote; a celebration of the role of the queer community in public life; and the stories of “living treasures” – from AIDs survivors to sport stars and more – who will speak about their experiences as members of Australia’s queer community.
“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,” said Qtopia CEO Greg Fisher in a statement. “We’re ready to succeed and to be a meaningful part of council’s important Oxford Street precinct rejuvenation initiative.”
Find out more about Qtopia and the museum here.