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Sydney’s first Queer Museum highlights vision at Fruits In Suits networking event

July 7, 2022

Qtopia Sydney sponsored July’s Fruits in Suits event on Thursday night at Sheraton Grand to network with businesspeople within Sydney’s LGBTQIA+ community and to present plans for Sydney’s first Queer Museum.

Members of the Board of Qtopia Sydney – David Polson, Ian Roberts, Katherine Wolfgramme and Chief Executive Officer Greg Fisher, provided an informative overview of their vision at the live panel.

With the support of Patrons – The Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG and Ita Buttrose AC OBE, Qtopia Sydney is committed to highlighting the AIDS pandemic and the legacy of Professor David Cooper and his ground-breaking work – a pivotal moment in history.

But just as importantly, the Museum will create a place that looks at the role of the Queer community in Australia, from the earliest days through the eyes of our Indigenous brothers and sisters, through to the journey from illegality to legality, inequality under the law to equality, and finally – the vital role of identity and inclusion.

Chief Executive Officer Greg Fisher said, “It is incredibly important to support the diverse sectors of the Queer community, and this is a fabulous opportunity to showcase our vision and shine a light on some of the achievements to date.”

He highlighted the importance of ensuring the Museum is the cornerstone of World Pride 2023, and therefore the urgency in securing a home for the Museum in the immediacy.

“We have had significant success at both a local and state government level to this point.

“To bolster our efforts, we have established a Working Committee that includes development industry heavyweights URBIS, along with WMK Architects, Price Waterhouse Coopers and Hall & Wilcox.

“Sydney’s World Pride presents a huge opportunity to highlight our journey and pay tribute to those who have led the way in changing perceptions toward our community, and addressing the way that HIV is treated in this country and throughout the word.

“It also provides a unique moment in present history to light a fire under a project such as this and really kick it off,” he said.

Board Member Ian Roberts spoke passionately about the role of Qtopia Sydney in saving lives, providing education, understanding and support to young members of the Queer community, particularly in country areas where assistance is traditionally limited.

Sharing her firsthand understanding of the importance of having a safe space that deals with identity, Katherine Wolfgramme stressed the need for a place where one can learn who they are, to help others to understand how they identify – siblings, parents, fellow classmates, or corporate colleagues.

Chairman David Polson said, “I am thrilled with the progress to date but mindful of the pressure to deliver a venue of which we can be proud.

“I am vitally aware of the need to engage and represent the many, many sectors and facets of our colourful Queer community, and to this end, I am thrilled to announce the appointment of our newest board members, Romany Brooks, Elaine Czblewski, John Waight and Louise Duff who have been appointed alongside Katherine Wolfgramme – with Greg Fisher stepping down as Director, to commit himself to the role of Chief Executive Officer.”

This comes alongside City of Sydney Council members voting in favour of a grant to support the mission of Qtopia Sydney, with initial meetings with NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard yielding a positive response.

SGLBA President Scott Duncombe said “We were so humbled and proud of the Qtopia Board for attending Fruits in Suits last Thursday night. The love, support and passion that they all have towards this project, was clearly on display for all of our members.”

“Ian Roberts is just an inspiration in our community and his mission to educate people really came through.”
Questions were fielded from the floor, including a request for Qtopia Sydney’s major need.

The answer? Premises – met with resounding applause and a heightened enthusiasm to ensure that visitors to World Pride 2023 cross the hearth to Qtopia’s Sydney’s Queer Museum.

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