The City of Sydney is being petitioned to build a memorial in Green Park, Darlinghurst in remembrance of those who died during the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s and 1990s.
Local artist Christopher Lewis suggested the idea in the Facebook group Darlo Darlings, a community group for Darlinghurst residents founded by Mike Galvin, who created the petition.
Green Park is located just across the road from St Vincent’s Hospital, where the first case of AIDS was diagnosed in Australia in October 1982. It became the first hospital in country to establish a dedicated unit for the treatment of HIV/AIDS patients, Ward 17 South.
St Vincent’s was the healthcare centre for the virus with more than half of the country’s HIV/AIDS patients from the period receiving treatment at the hospital.
Green Park’s proximity means that the park holds great significance for the community, a site of both grief and comfort for the partners, family, and friends of those who were treated nearby.
The proposal suggests the construction of a reflective water feature in the park to provide a peaceful sanctuary and symbol of joy in honour of those lost to AIDS.
This petition comes on the heels of a City of Sydney proposal that the south-west lawn of Prince Alfred Park be named ‘Equality Green’ in commemoration of marriage equality.
Waverly Council also recently announced that Marks Park will become the site of a $100,000 memorial for victims of gay hate crimes that plagued Sydney and Bondi Beach between the 1970s and 1990s.
Organisers are seeking 1,000 signatures to show widespread community support for the idea before they present the petition to the City of Sydney for consideration.
You can sign the petition here.