See the WA AIDS Quilt this weekend at Boola Bardip WA Museum

There’s a rare opportunity this weekend to see both sections of the WA AIDS Quilt which has been put on display at Boola Bardip WA Museum.

The quilt will only be on display from Friday until Sunday and is part of marking World AIDS Day.

The WA AIDS Memorial Quilts spotlight stories of resilience and love in the face of adversity. Each hand-crafted panel is a testament to the unyielding strength of human connection and community spirit.

The Australian AIDS Memorial Quilt Project initially comprising 35 panels. It was formally launched in Sydney on 1 December 1988, the first ever World AIDS Day. The project was launched by Ita Buttrose, who was the Chairperson of the National Advisory Committee on AIDS (NACAIDS).

While the Quilt began as a memorial, it has become one of the nation’s most valuable resources for promoting a compassionate and educational dialogue about AIDS within Australian communities.

It is based on the US ‘Names Project’ which was launched in 1985 at an AIDS Candlelight vigil in San Francisco activist Cleave Jones. The US version of the AIDS Memorial Quilt has become one of the largest community art projects of all time. The final quilt as of 2020 if assembled weighs an estimated 54 tones.

The United Kingdom’s AIDS Quilt has recently been made available as a digital presentation, allowing people to view the quilt and read the stories about each panel online.

On Saturday the museum will also be hosting an event, In Conversation: Intergenerational dialogues on living with HIVIt promises to be a compelling discussion shedding light on the distinctive narratives of those openly embracing their HIV-positive status and what this has meant historically and in today’s world.

Speakers include Diane Lloyd who has been part of the Peer Based Harm Reduction WA team since 2009 as a Community Development Worker and is a board member of the National Assocication of People Living with HIV Australia (NAPWHA).

Also speaking at the event will be Mark Reid, a founding member of WAAC who has been involved with the HIV response in WA for over 35 years.  He was previously employed at WAAC for 25 years in a variety of roles encompassing education, prevention, care and support, as well as fundraising initiatives.

Bringing a younger perspective to living with HIV will be Rhys Ross. A HIV Peer Educator for WAAC, who is a compassionate and dedicated HIV Support Worker with experience providing essential care and support to individuals living with HIV. Ross shared own his experience of living with HIV at a World AIDS Day event in 2022 and is a compelling speaker.

The event will be facilitated by Professor Anthony J. Langlois,the Stan Perron Dean of Applied Ethics in the Faculty of Business & Law at Curtin University.

Admission to the full museum costs $15.00, but you can request access to just the quilt exhibition which in the entrance to Winthrop Hall by filling this form.

Checking out the entire museum is a pretty good experience though, and they can have a special offer that gives you a year’s membership to the museum, meaning you can visit as many times as you want over the next twelve months.

Graeme Watson 

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