City of Sydney provides seed funding for new LGBT museum in Oxford Street
The City of Sydney voted unanimously to provide an ad hoc grant to fund the development of an LGBTQI museum.
On Monday, Sydney City Council voted to grant $283,500 to nonprofit Qtopia’s proposal to open a queer memorial and museum in the Oxford Street area.
Grant to cover part of start-up costs
According to Council documents, the grant “will cover a portion of the start-up costs identified in their business plan.”
The grant will be paid in installments based on securing a location within six months and continued investment in the museum.
According to Qtopia CEO Greg Fisher, “There have been significant in-kind contributions so far. And there has been huge corporate interest in supporting Qtopia’s funding. Once we have these two elements in place. We are very confident of strong corporate support based on discussions we have had with a number of organisations.
An upfront payment of $100,000 will help Qtopia find a suitable location as well as assemble the LGBTQI museum collection.
If after six months a suitable location is not found, the Council will help Qtopia find a suitable location to display the LGBTQI collection at a “stand-alone event” during World Pride 2023.
Significant historical relevance of Darlinghurst Police Station to the queer community
The preferred location for the museum would be the former Darlinghurst Police Station, which is owned by the NSW Government.
The Council supports this location and has pledged to “advocate” on behalf of Qtopia for the New South Wales government to consider the proposal.
According to Fisher, Darlinghurst Police Station “has significant historical significance to the queer community. Not so long ago, homosexuals were thrown into cells. They are beaten just for being gay because it was illegal at the time. And so part of the healing process would be for this property to come to the LGBTQIA+ community.
Qtopia’s initiative has the backing and endorsement of former High Court judge Michael Kirby, publisher Ita Buttrose, LGBTQI rights advocate Ian Roberts, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander queer group BlaQ, Bobby Goldsmith Foundation, St Vincent’s Hospital and ACON.