The City of Sydney has voted unanimously to provide an ad hoc grant to fund the development of an LGBTQI Museum. 

On Monday, City of Sydney Council voted in favour of providing $283,500 toward non-for-profit organisation Qtopia’s proposal to open a queer memorial and museum in the Oxford Street Precinct. 

Grant to Cover Portion of the Start-Up Costs

According to Council documents, the grant will “cover a portion of the start-up costs identified in their business plan.”

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The grant will be paid in instalments dependent on a location being secured within six months and continued investment in the museum. 

According to Qtopia CEO Greg Fisher, “There’s been significant in-kind contributions so far. And there has been an enormous amount of corporate interest in supporting the funding for Qtopia. Once we have both those two elements in place. We’re very confident of significant corporate support based on the discussions that we’ve had with a number of organizations.”

An initial payment of $100 thousand will assist Qtopia in finding a suitable location as well as collating the LGBTQI museum’s collection. 

If after six months a suitable location is not found, Council will assist Qtopia in finding a suitable place to exhibit the LGBTQI collection at a “stand-alone event” during World Pride 2023.

Darlinghurst Police Station’s Significant Historical Relevance For the Queer Community

Qtopia Sydney, the group leading the charge to open a queer museum in Sydney by WorldPride 2023, have said the old Darlinghurst Police Station is the preferred location for the museum..

The preferred location for the museum would be the former Darlinghurst Police Station which is owned by the NSW government. 

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The Council is in support of this location and has pledged to “advocate” on Qtopia’s behalf that the NSW Government consider the proposal. 

According to Fisher, the Darlinghurst Police Station “has significant historical relevance for the queer community. It wasn’t that long ago that gay men were thrown into the cells. They’re bashed simply for being gay because it was illegal at the time. And so part of the healing process would be for that property to come to the LGBTQIA+ community.”

Qtopia’s initiative has the backing and support of former High Court judge Michael Kirby, publisher Ita Buttrose, LGBTQI rights advocate Ian Roberts, queer Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander group BlaQ, Bobby Goldsmith Foundation, St Vincent’s Hospital and ACON. 

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