Sydneysiders can help make gaybourhood’s ‘Pride Square’ official

sydney newtown town hall neighbourhood centre community rainbow crossing bedford square pride square renamed sydney worldpride
Image: courtesy of Inner West Council

Sydney locals can now have their say on a local council’s proposal to rename an area of Newtown “Pride Square” in time for Sydney WorldPride next year.

Earlier this year, Inner West Council voted to rename Bedford Square – outside the council’s town hall (pictured) – to Pride Square. The council is also proposing a rainbow crossing for the inner-city suburb.

The council hopes the name change, if approved, will coincide with Sydney WorldPride mega-festival, coming to the city this summer.

In March, Inner West councillor Mat Howard put forward the proposal to rename the square to Pride Square.

“Applying to the Geographical Names Board to rename the square as Pride Square recognises the special place Newtown and the inner west holds in LGBTQ+ Sydney,” Cr Howard, who lives in Marrickville, explained at the time.

“I know when I first moved to Sydney, Newtown was the first place I came to looking for connection and support.

“I hope future generations of young LGBTQ+ people will do the same. [I hope they] see Pride Square at the heart of the suburb and know that this is a community where they can be safe, be valued, and thrive.”

Bedford Square is outside Newtown Town Hall, located opposite Newtown Station. The location has already been dubbed “Pride Square” on Google Maps.

But the council has put forward a formal application to the Geographical Names Board. The Board has now opened the proposal to feedback on the proposal to rename the square.

People can do so through the Geographical Names Board website before submissions close on September 18.

Sydney WorldPride mega-festival coming to the city in 2023

Sydney is preparing to host WorldPride next year, for the first time in the southern hemisphere, bringing together locals and visitors in a “global family reunion” post-Covid.

It’s the first time a WorldPride host city has brought the biennial event to the Southern Hemisphere. The 17-day event is on in Sydney from February 17 to March 5 next year, with tickets on sale within weeks.

WorldPride will coincide with the 45th Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras festival. It’ll feature all the usual Mardi Gras events, including the Parade back at its home on Oxford Street.

But WorldPride will also take over Sydney with new events, including multiple concerts, parties, marches, and First Nations events.

Meanwhile, Sydney will get its first LGBTIQ+ pride museum, tracing the “queer storyline from First Nations people to today,” in time for WorldPride.

The proposed museum is called Qtopia, and is backed by funding from City of Sydney.

Qtopia and the council want the NSW Government to provide Taylor Square’s former Darlinghurst Police Station site for the museum.

It’s in that building that police jailed and bashed fifty-three 78ers – the original Mardi Gras marchers – on June 24, 1978. The building was shut down in the 1980s.

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