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Qtopia Sydney says YES to the Voice!

July 28, 2023

Qtopia Sydney has voiced their stance of solidarity with First Nations Australians, as they support the implementation of the Uluru Statement from the Heart in full, as well as the ‘Yes’ vote, in the upcoming 2023 Australian Indigenous Voice referendum.

Set to take premises in the old Darlinghurst Police Station in a few short months, Qtopia Sydney will celebrate First Nations people and their approach to culture, gender and identity, prior to the imposition of colonial heteronormative binaries.

“Whilst the Board would never speak for Indigenous people, we do feel empathy for their loss of identity, and therefore the Board voted unanimously to support First Nations people having a voice to Government,” said Qtopia Sydney CEO Greg Fisher.

“And let us be clear, exhibitions now and always at Qtopia Sydney will be influenced and informed by the Voice of our First Nations friends – that voice is important and deeply valued,” he continued.

Speaking in response to Qtopia Sydney’s support for the YES23 campaign, Federal Member for Sydney Tanya Plibersek said, “I congratulate Qtopia Sydney in coming out in support of the Voice. The Queer community knows only too well the fight for the human right to be heard – the fight to be included – the fight for equality.

“The fact that Qtopia Sydney will open its doors early in 2024 with an acknowledgement of the Indigenous position in Queer history, and the treatment of Indigenous People in the former police station and surrounding area, is testament to their commitment to provide voice and equality for all,” Ms Plibersek continued.

Bolstering the Qtopia Sydney curatorial team headed by Dr Liz Bradshaw, is Garry Wotherspoon, who has recently been appointed to the Board. His work as an Historian and former Co-Director of the Australian Centre for Lesbian and Gay Research at the University of Sydney will add significant curatorial muscle.

Along with experienced educator and Masters graduate Ruth Shipman who is now working with the NSW Department of Education to create curricula-linked programs, an expanded Curatorial team is currently being built, with a call-out for applications for people with expertise and lived experience in the sector.

Highly respected Community advocate and leader, Elaine Czulkowski, formerly Fundraising Manager for the successful Australian Marriage Equality Campaign, and now the Associate Director of Operations, Events and Partnerships for ACON’s Pride Inclusion Programs, brings her knowledge and understanding of the direct fight to be heard, recognised and included, into her role as new Chair of Qtopia Sydney.

“Through the Marriage-Equality Postal Survey, the LGBTQIA+ community lived the stress of having its identity put to a public vote. The challenges went far beyond the angst of the final decision. The experience of the 2017 survey was intensely challenging for members of the LGBTIQA+ community and its allies,” said Mr Fisher.

“Given this, we are incredibly sympathetic toward those who have had their culture taken away. A vote should not determine identity and we stand with the YES23 campaign to ensure that all people are recognised,” he concluded.

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