QTOPIA Sydney opens its doors to the world

Qtopia Sydney Old Darlinghurst Police StationThe largest home of Queer history and culture in the world, Qtopia Sydney, has opened the doors to 17 thought-provoking and immersive exhibitions.

Attended by three levels of government – Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, NSW Premier Chris Minns and Lord Mayor Clover Moore, Qtopia Sydney welcomed 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.

“We are thrilled to be welcoming Sydneysiders and both national and international guests to our home – one where we can encourage greater awareness for our LGBTQIA+ community through Queer storytelling – stories told through exhibitions, performances, community programs and education,” said Qtopia Sydney CEO, Greg Fisher.

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.

“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,” said NSW Minister for the Arts, John Graham.

“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,” said Mr Fisher.

“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,” said Mr Fisher.

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.

Qtopia Sydney officially opens to the public today (Saturday 24 February). It is located at 301 Forbes Street, Darlinghurst. For more information, visit: www.qtopiasydney.com.au for details

Image: The Old Darlinghurst Police Station is the home to Qtopia Sydney (supplied)