Brisbane, QLD
30 Helen Street Australian AIDS Memorial Quilt - Brisbane since 1 December 1989
AIDS Memorial Quilt

The Australian AIDS Memorial Quilt, of which this multi-panel quilt forms part, is an evocative record of those who were lost to HIV, many of them in their 20s and 30s. The visual diversity of the panels is marked, capturing as they do the character and individuality of the person who died. In the 1980s and 1990s, at the onset of AIDS and in the following decade, societal attitudes were often homophobic. The Quilt records memories of those vibrant young people who face their death in times of ignorance, often with no help, no friends (many had died already), family denial and discrimination. Some panels are anonymous, while many are now supported by documentation such an written descriptions by the maker, photographs and eulogies. As a result, the AIDS Quilt tells us a great deal about social change and changing attitudes to safe sex, gay culture and death in the late twentieth century in western societies.

Why were the quilts important?
The quilts offer an evocative record of those who died of AIDS in Australia, illustrating the human side of HIV. The inclusion of individual memories on the quilt allows viewers to find connection between their own lives and those who have died from AIDS. Together, the quilts form a memorial and a story teller, and a valuable resource for promoting community dialogue.

The idea for a memorial quilt began in the USA in 1987. Andrew Carter and Richard Johnson began the Australian Quilt Project the following year. The Australian AIDS Memorial Quilt Project was launched in Sydney on 1 December 1988.

Photos (c) Queensland AIDS Council

27 April 2016
Queensland AIDS Council, Brisbane