Never a Crime – Building Pride in our LGBTIQ identities

On 21 January 2018,  Never a Crime Exhibition opened at the Abbotsford Convent. This is how it all began.

In May 2015 Premier Daniel Andrews issued a formal apology in State Parliament to gay men for past injustices – making Victoria the first state to apologise. You can view the apology here  Courtesy of ABC News

The Expungement Scheme

In September 2015 a new scheme was implemented in Victoria to expunge historical convictions for homosexual activity that would not be a criminal offence today. Under the scheme, an individual (or the appropriate representative of a deceased person) can make a confidential application to the Secretary of the Department of Justice and Regulation to have their conviction or finding of guilt for an historical homosexual offence expunged. This application can be made free of charge. For more information about the Scheme go to the Department of Justice and Regulations webpage.

The Never a Crime Project

While legislative reform is essential, there is also a need to heal the stigma, hurt, shame and losses these laws created. A process of healing began in 2015, when Premier Daniel Andrews made an apology in State Parliament for past injustices.

While these reforms are significant – there is still a sense of shame around homosexuality. The Never a Crime project addresses this shame by inviting gay and bisexual men to share their stories and build a sense of Pride in who they are – because Pride is the opposite of shame.

How to participate

You can participate in our 2018 workshops where you will be invited to share your story of Pride and reflect on the historical treatment of gay and bisexual men. Workshops will include mask making and portraits. The portraits and stories will be shared on this page to build pride and challenge shame. 2018 Workshop dates are listed below.
Workshop 1: April 22  – Community Leaders

Workshop 2: May 20 – Open

Workshop 3: June 16 – Out & About / Switchboard

Workshop 4: June 17 – TBC

More information
If you would like more information about this project please contact the project coordinator Dr Catherine Barrett by phone: 0429 582 237 or email at:

Presented by:  Midsumma Festival, Alice’s Garage and The Social Photographer in association with Abbotsford Convent.

The Never a Crime project is a collaboration between Lisa White – The Social Photographer and Dr Catherine Barrett of Alice’s Garage.