What we found when we went looking for Victoria’s queer heritage…

Image: courtesy of State Library of Victoria

Surprised even us!

In 2019, Heritage Victoria, the state government’s non-Aboriginal cultural heritage agency, commissioned the Australian Queer Archives to research and write a report on the history of LGBTQIA+ Victoria in 100 places and objects. Preparing the Report, which runs over 200 pages, involved grappling with a diversity of methods and concepts, some quite new to the heritage field. Some were specific to the field being explored – what vocabulary should we use? How much sex can be included? How to consider LGBTQIA+ history where these categories did not exist in their modern form?

The research relied heavily on community input, revealing new knowledge and a widespread passion for our past.

The results surprised even us. From the ‘lady squatters’ of the 1830s’ Barwon region to the warehouse parties of the 1990s; from small objects to entire precincts, from graves and newsletters, from Trades Hall to Myer’s Department store; from the experiences of gay and lesbian, trans, bi and intersex people – Victoria’s queer history revealed itself in a quite remarkable diversity.

In this presentation, lead author and researcher, Graham Willett, will take us through the process and the results – and how this work might be publicly recognised in the state’s heritage.

The history of LGBTIQ+ Victoria report can be read at Heritage Victoria - A history of LGBTIQ+ Victoria.

All people attending the library (and this event) need to be double vaccinated (or have a valid medical exemption) and show their vaccination certificate/valid medical exemption either through the Services Victoria App or a printed physical form to gain entry to the venue.

If this event is sold out, please contact [email protected] to be placed onto a waitlist.

We plan for this event to be held in person, however, if required, the event will move to Zoom and ticketholders will be contacted with a link if this becomes the case.

Image 1 by Rennie Ellis

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Event & ticketing details

Sold Out


Relaxed Performance
Wheelchair Access

Dates & Times

WHEN Wed 9 Feb 7pm
DURATION 1hr 30m


Prahran Mechanics' Institute Victorian History Library

39 St Edmonds Rd, Prahran

Get directions


Sandringham line to Prahran


6, 72 to stop 30

Event notes


Australian Premiere


Nudity, Sex scenes, Violence, Coarse language, Images or recordings of Aboriginal people who have passed away, Reference to sexual violence, Reference to drug use, Suicide references

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