Anthony Albanese, Chris Minns, Lachlan Murdoch open Qtopia in celebration of Sydney queer community

A former police station in inner-Sydney where gay men were once locked up has been transformed into the world’s largest queer history museum.

The old Darlinghurst police station which now houses Qtopia is intrinsically linked with Sydney’s queer history, having been where dozens of members of the gay community were held in March 1978 after being arrested during the street march that would come to be known as the first Sydney Mardi Gras.

The opening of the first museum of its kind in Australia, comes just in time for the latest iteration of the iconic Sydney festival.

Dedicated entirely to queer history and the culture of the LGBTQIA+ community, the museum opens to the public this weekend after a significant investment from the NSW government and the local council, and a $1m donation from NewsCorp chairman Lachlan Murdoch and his wife Sarah through their foundation.

Opening the museum on Friday, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said it commemorated “how far we’ve come during my lifetime”.

“From one where we were arresting people, locking them up for being who they are, into one now where we’re celebrating in the very same venue,” he said.

“And that’s a great thing.”

The heritage-listed site will now play host to exhibitions, display theatre performances and host school tours.

NSW Premier Chris Minns said the centre “turns the page” on the old police station’s history, writing a “new chapter that celebrates and recognises the proud LGBTQIA+ history and culture of our state”.

“We couldn’t be prouder to support the establishment of Qtopia Sydney as a testament to the inclusivity and diversity that have come to define our vibrant city and state,” Mr Minns said.

“Qtopia will stand as more than just a testament to any one particular person or government, this centre will stand as a marker for us all as to how far we’ve come in addressing inequality in NSW.”

Read related topics:Anthony AlbaneseSydney

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