Bending the Bars: 40 years since decriminalisation

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Gay Pride Picnic 1973, Rennie Ellis

An exhibition commemorating a historic reform

Curated by Andrew Gaynor.

Bending the Bars commemorates the 40th anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Victoria. The gay and lesbian community in Victoria found common cause in their fight against unjust laws. The exhibition reveals a fascinating and life affirming history using an engaging combination of text, images, and art.

Bending the Bars shares the stories and processes that led to the passing of a historic law reform, through the words and experiences of key participants.

It celebrates the significant and vital changes which the LGBTIQ+ community fought hard to achieve in health, arts and legal reform. It also explores the darker episodes in the continuing struggle for equality.
The City Watch House is both a venue and object for this exhibition. It was a place of detention for those charged within Melbourne’s CBD under discriminatory laws based on sexuality.

Please note: This exhibition requires a General Admission ticket to Old Melbourne Gaol.


Event & ticketing details

Book tickets

Dates & Times

WHEN 5 Feb-16 May | Wed-Sun 10am-6pm


ADULT $30.00
CONC $25.00
CHILD $17.00 - 5-15 years
FAMILY $70.00 - 1 adult + 2 children
FAMILY $50.00 - 1 adult + 2 children
CHILD+ $7.00 - extra child on family ticket
MEMBER Free for National Trust members


Old Melbourne Gaol City Watch House

377 Russell Street, Melbourne CBD

Get directions


Melbourne Central


30, 35 to stop 7 | any Swanston St tram to stop 8

Event notes


Reference to sexual violence, Suicide references

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