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What we found when we went looking for Victoria’s queer...

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Tour

Part of Midsumma

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All Ages

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Midsumma Festival

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
https://www.heritage.vic.gov.au/about-us/our-programs-and-initiatives/a-history-of-lgbtiq-victoria

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