AIDS Memorial Garden Walking Tour
Stories of hope, heartache and horticulture from the site of the old FairfieldPresented by: Thorne Harbour Health (VAC)
Thorne Harbour Health and Polytechnic invite you to join them in marking the 30 years of the AIDS Memorial Garden with a special walking tour and morning tea to mark the 30 years since it was opened on the grounds of the former Fairfield Hospital. Enjoy the lush grounds of what is now part of Melbourne Polytechnic College Fairfield and listen to stories from the Fairfield Hospital at the height of the AIDS crisis in Australia.
Located in the grounds of Fairfield Hospital, which at the time was responsible for the care of the majority of HIV/AIDS patients in Victoria, it was officially opened in April 1988. The Garden, originally established by Victorian AIDS Council volunteers, remains to this day a treasured resource and place of quiet reflection.
Fairfield Hospital was originally opened in 1904. Diseases treated included typhoid, cholera, scarlet fever and in it's final years HIV/AIDS. Despite plans for it's closure in the early 1990s, an unprecedented community campaign kept the hospital open. By the time it closed in 1996 it was the last specific infectious diseases hospital in Australia.
In 2004, after the site was acquired by Melbourne Polytechnic College (previously known as North Melbourne Institute of TAFE), the Garden was transformed into a valuable learning space for Horticulture and Landscape students. Interest in the old hospital grounds was rekindled in recent years with the release of the 2015 movie Holding The Man. This walking tour provides a rare opportunity to visit sections of the former hospital site not normally accessible to the general public.
This event has been made possible thanks to the ongoing co-operation between Melbourne Polytechnic College Fairfield and Thorne Harbour Health, previously known as the Victorian AIDS Council (VAC)/Gay Men's Health Centre (GMHC).
Image: Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives