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Thousands of years in the making, historic Qtopia Sydney to open its doors to the world

February 21, 2024

Qtopia Sydney, the largest home of Queer history and culture in the world, will open the doors to 17 thought-provoking and immersive exhibitions this Friday,

aligning Mardi Gras 2024.

To be opened by three levels of government

Prime Minister Anthony

Albanese, NSW Premier Chris Minns and Lord Mayor Clover Moore, Qtopia Sydney will welcome invited guests, launching the spectacular campus across four venues – 301 Forbes St, The Bandstand in Green Park, The Substation

and The Toilet Block, all in the heart of Sydney’s Darlinghurst.

CEO of Qtopia Sydney Greg Fisher said, “We are thrilled to be welcoming

Sydneysiders and both national and international guests to our home

where we can encourage greater awareness for our LGBTQIA+ community

Queer storytelling – stories told through exhibitions, performances, community programs and education.”

A team of curators from all areas of the arts have worked with researchers, historians, established museums, archivists, media organisations and private collectors to create 17 new stories, giving voice to those whose voices have been diminished.

NSW Minister for the Arts John Graham said, “Qtopia Sydney’s new and permanent home in the former Darlinghurst Police Station is a significant space for Sydney LGBTQIA+ community. It will be an important place for education, engagement, and artistic expression.

“This heritage-listed building holds a lot of history for members of the LGBTQIA+ community. It will provide a place for exploring ideas and foster a deeper understanding of history and current events. I am pleased to see it’s reimagining as a much-needed cultural space in the centre of the Sydney.”

Initial pro bono and low bono contributions supporting applications to City of Sydney Council were crucial, as was Council’s willingness to work enthusiastically to partner with Qtopia Sydney to deliver this outcome. Generous corporate funding from the Lachlan and Sarah Murdoch Foundation paved the way, with the NSW State Government providing a home and $6.7 million that would ensure the vision of Qtopia Sydney would meet with reality.

“The opening of Qtopia Sydney represents one of the most colossal examples of community passion and determination ever seen,” Mr Fisher said.

“Under the stewardship of a committed Board and a dedicated team, a community has come together. Well established Queer organisations quickly jumped in to support our contribution to the cultural and historical fabric of this city.

“On top of our opening exhibitions, we will welcome guests across our three performance venues, kicking off in March with theatre, cabaret, drag, music and more.

“We pay homage to the countless members and allies of the Queer community in this country on whose shoulders we stand, who gave us ballast, who endured discrimination, separatism and ostracisation so that one day, their stories would be told,” Mr Fisher concluded.

Qtopia Sydney will now take its place as a significant cultural home, with its future resting with the community – adding content and context to stories as the years go on.

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