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PM at Qtopia

Qtopia launched by three levels of Government

On Friday, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, NSW Premier Chris Minns and Lord Mayor Clover Moore officially opened Qtopia Sydney in front 450 invited guests at The Cell Block Theatre at National Art School.

Joining a cross-section of members of the Queer community, with the hottest ticket in town, special guests included Minister John Graham, Federal Minister Tanya Plibersek, Member for Sydney Alex Greenwich, Qtopia Sydney Patron Michael Kirby AC CMG, Justice John Sackar KC, NSW Police Assistant Commissioners Anthony Cooke and Anthony Crandell, Former NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller, former Olympian Ian Thorpe, our Founding Partners Lachlan and Sarah Murdoch and Qtopia Sydney’s Emeritus Founding Chair David Polson AM and Chair Elaine Czulkowski.
 
In welcoming the Prime Minister, Qtopia Sydney CEO Greg Fisher said, “Our Prime Minister, the Hon. Anthony Albanese is the only sitting Prime Minister to have marched in the Mardi Gras parade. This was not a quaint gesture on the Prime Minister’s part. This was a continuation of a walk that he has done for over a decade.

“In being here today, together, Prime Minister Albanese, NSW Premier Chris Minns and LM Clover Moore you have sent a message to the world that Australia is a place that values the Queer community and that it is a welcoming and safe place for all.”

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese first marched in the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras in the 80s, then as a member of Young Labor. Reflecting on his experience and of the Queer community’s history, Prime Minister Albanese said, “When Young Labor first marched in Mardi Gras, we were told by Sussex Street Police that we would be punished for doing so because it was out of step with mainstream so-called political activity at that time.

“So today I pay tribute to the bravery of those people in the community who went out there and showed leadership, who gave practical real examples of just celebrating who they were and suffered because of it.

“Social change doesn’t happen in a straight line. But it does happen. It does happen. And history does move forward…and it moves forward in a way which is more inclusive…That the great strength of this great nation is our diversity. And it must always be, not tolerated, it must be celebrated, and that is what Qtopia does.”

NSW Premier Chris Minns said that Qtopia Sydney turns the page on the history of the Old Darlinghurst Police Station and writes a new chapter that celebrates and recognises the proud LGBTQIA+ history and culture of our state.

“Qtopia will stand as more than just a testament to any one particular person or government, this Centre will stand as a marker for us all as to how far we’ve come in addressing inequality in NSW,” he said.

“This place gives our state the opportunity to have one of Australia’s greatest stories told. And voices, who have been ignored – heard. It’s a story of underdogs who fought against the system, who took on all odds – and changed the world. I want this monument to be a reminder to everyone in the LGBTQI+ community.

“It is a basic right to live life as you are – free from fear and hatred. This is for you.”

Taking to the podium to represent the third level of government, Lord Mayor Clover Moore said, “Two years ago, the City of Sydney provided seed funding of $283,000 for a museum that would tell the stories and honour the heroes who built this community.

“Today’s opening of Qtopia is a milestone. It will create a sense of belonging, safety and pride for people of diverse sexualities and genders, and showcase Sydney as a place of social cohesion that is inclusive and welcoming.”

Opening with 18 inaugural exhibitions at 301 Forbes Street focused on five major themes – HIV/AIDS, human rights, sexuality and identity, media representation and First Nations Stories, The Substation and Toilet Block exhibitions in Taylor Square will open in mid-March. 

Qtopia Sydney is open Wednesday to Sunday, 10:30am to 4:30pm. Sundays come free, courtesy of the City of Sydney Council.

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