Qtopia has been lobbying the NSW Government and Health Minister Brad Hazzard (middle) for the old Darlinghurst police station to be a permanent home for the queer museum. Photo: Qtopia Sydney/Facebook
Sydney may have its first ‘queer’ museum, a community showcase, educational venue, and outreach sometime in January called Qtopia. The museum will include exhibits that feature Ward 17 South at St Vincent’s Hospital.
The Sisters of Charity nuns who stood fast against the fear, hysteria, and misinformation in the war on AIDS will also be included. The museum will be temporarily located close to Ward 17, within the bandstand of Darlinghurst’s Green Park.
The aim is to have it up in time for next year’s WorldPride and Mardi Gras celebrations in February.
HIV/AIDS survivor founds Qtopia Project
HIV/AIDS survivor and one of the first men diagnosed with it in Australia back in 1984, David Polson founded the Qtopia Project. Not only has he survived the HIV pandemic of the 80s, but Polson has also been a part of 28 drug trials that have led to the life-saving treatment of the 21st century.
Inspired by the work of the late Professor David Cooper, who was one of the world’s leading researchers into HIV/AIDS and physicians at St Vincent’s, Qtopia’s hope and aim are to not only tell the story of HIV/AIDS but showcase the resilience and spirit of the LGBTQI community in Australia and beyond.
The Qtopia team is filled with inspirational members who all share the common goal of fulfilling the late Professor Cooper’s dream. Members range from Justice Michael Kirby, former footballer Ian Roberts and ABC chair Ita Buttrose. Qtopia also has the support of Lord Mayor Clover Moore and the City of Sydney, which has already committed close to $300,000 towards it.
Qtopia Hopes To Reside In Old Police Station
While its temporary home will be located close to Ward 17, Qtopia is currently lobbying the NSW Government and Health Minister Brad Hazzard to allow Qtopia to permanently reside in the old Darlinghurst police station at Taylor Square.
Currently, the NSW Government is using the old Darlinghurst police station as offices for NSW Health. The site was once the place where gay men were locked up back in the 1970s and 80s.
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