Small Town Queer exhibition celebrates diversity in the Tweed

The-maypole-at-Mandala-Australia's-first-same-sex-commune-(detail)-David-Johnstone-Collection-courtesy-of-Australian-Lesbian-and-Gay-ArchiveExploring the rich tapestry of Tweed’s LGBTQIA+ history from the early 1900s to the present, the Tweed Regional Museum is launching its first digital exhibition and collections project, Small Town Queer.

Coinciding with LGBTI History Month, this digital project includes research into the area’s history, the Museum’s first podcast series, a story map, and an interactive portal for community contributions.

The Museum has collaborated with LGBTQIA+ community members to collect, share and preserve the histories of Tweed’s many and varied queer voices. The project features stories from local authors, sporting stars, 78ers (a group of activists who marched in the original Sydney Mardi Gras in 1978), performers, and activists.

The website features a Your Story portal – an interactive and inclusive space for the LGBTQIA+ community to tell their own stories about being a small-town queer. The Museum is encouraging people to upload their own story, lived experience, views and life events so that future generations have a greater understanding of LGBTQIA+ history in the Tweed.

The queer experience may also include the stories of partners, family members and friends of LGBTQIA+ people who are also invited to contribute.

“The exhibition continues the Museum’s ongoing work toward ensuring that our collections and programs represent all those people who call the Tweed home, and who contribute to the richness and vitality of this community,” said Museum Director, Judy Kean.

“It acknowledges those community members whose experiences and many contributions have been largely missing from public history, and it shares stories of diversity within the queer community.”

Mayor of the Tweed Chris Cherry said she cared deeply about the Tweed’s diverse community. “I am so pleased to support this very important project. I encourage people to tell their own story, it deserves to be told. Please be a part of the Tweed’s rich living history,” said Cr Cherry.

October is LGBTI History Month, which started in Australia in 2016 by the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives and Minus18 and serves to celebrate queer history.

Small Town Queer is available to view on the Tweed Regional Museum’s website. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: The maypole at Mandala, Australia’s first same-sex commune, (detail). David Johnstone Collection – courtesy of the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives