AIDS Memorial Garden walking tour

Join us as we return to the AIDS Memorial Garden to reflect, remember, and respect this special place which stands as a testament of the community response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

  • Completed
Date and time:
3 hours
In person (on site)
Thorne Harbour Health


Remember Fairfield - from hospital to horticulture. This walking tour in collaboration with City of Yarra and Yarra Libraries will delve into the history of HIV/AIDS in Victoria, with speeches from living legends who fought for the hospital to remain open.

Originally established by Thorne Harbour Health volunteers over 30 years ago, the AIDS Memorial Garden remains a treasured resource and place of quiet reflection. The Garden is located on the grounds of the old Fairfield Hospital which was responsible for the care of the majority of HIV/AIDS patients in Victoria.

Join us on Wednesday November 29, two days before World AIDS Day, for a history-filled tour of the gardens, followed by a BBQ and speeches from:

  • Claudia Nguyen - Yarra City Council Mayor
  • John Hall - Thorne Harbour Health representative
  • Judy Frecker - HIV Clinical Nurse who cared for patients at Fairfield Hospital back in 1983.

Fairfield Hospital was originally opened in 1904. Diseases treated included typhoid, cholera, scarlet fever along with HIV/AIDS in its final years. Despite plans for the hospital'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 Fairfield (previously NMIT), 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 is a FREE event, with booking details to be confirmed shortly.


Melbourne Polytechnic College Fairfield Campus
Yarra Bend Road
Fairfield VIC 3078