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The latest exhibition to launch at the Old Melbourne Gaol, Bending the Bars curated by Andrew Gaynor and the National Trust of Australia (Victoria) celebrates the significant and vital changes for which the LGBTIQ+ community fought hard to achieve in legal reform, health and the arts.

Opening 5 February, the exhibition using an engaging combination of text, images, and original artworks reveals a poignant and life affirming history, sharing stories of the key participants who created legislative change in 1981.

Simon Ambrose, CEO of the National Trust of Australia (Victoria), said the exhibition located inside the City Watch House (part of the Old Melbourne Gaol) acts as both the venue and object for the exhibition.

“As a place of detention for those charged within Melbourne’s CBD under discriminatory laws based on sexuality, the City Watch House as the location for the Bending the Bars exhibition is an important reminder of the darker episodes in the ongoing struggle for equality.

We hope the exhibition allows visitors to engage and commemorate the passing of a historic law reform, through a powerful collection of stories and experiences,” said Mr. Ambrose.

The Bending the Bars exhibition is on show from 5 February – 17 May 2021, 10am to 6pm Wednesday to Sunday.

To book tickets visit


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