Close this search box.

MONA ordered to allow men into ‘Ladies Lounge’ after discrimination complaint

Pulse Tasmania
Kirsha Kaechele leaves the Tasmanian Civil and Administrative Tribunal hearing last month with her supporters. Image / Supplied

MONA has been ordered to allow men into their ‘Ladies Lounge’ exhibit after a man complained about being excluded from the women’s-only space.

New South Wales resident Jason Lau lodged a discrimination complaint against the popular Tasmanian museum, which was upheld by the Tasmanian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.


The tribunal has given the museum 28 days to “cease refusing entry to the exhibit known as the Ladies Lounge at the Museum of Old and New Art by persons who do not identify as ladies”.

Tribunal Deputy President Richard Grueber said in his published decision that the case “involves conflict between an artwork which deliberately and overtly discriminates for artistic purpose and legislation which has the objective of prohibiting discrimination”.

He said Lau visited MONA in April of last year, paid the $35 entry fee and entered the museum – but was “not permitted entry into the Ladies Lounge was because of his gender”.

Image / Supplied

“Mr Lau is male. As he does not identify as a lady he was refused entry to the Ladies Lounge. Mr Lau was not happy with being refused entry,” Grueber said.

“He had paid the full entry price for Mona but was not be able to experience the artwork contained within the Ladies Lounge.”

The room’s designer Kirsha Kaechele described the Ladies Lounge as a room enclosed by green silk curtains that is “watched over by a concierge who welcomes women and denies entry to men”.


“A custom-designed green velvet lounge—specifically a tethered, rearing, restrained-by-golden-chains-and-then-ultimately-defeated phallus—sits in the centre, with a Venetian murano chandelier overhead,” she said.

“Green silk curtains line the walls, upon which hang a carefully curated selection of paintings by the world’s leading artists, including two paintings that spectacularly demonstrate Picasso’s genius.”

Grueber, in his comments, also criticised Kaechele and her 20+ female supporters for their conduct at the hearing, saying the way they left the tribunal building while dressed in blue power suits and dancing to Robert Palmer’s Simply Irresistible was “inappropriate, discourteous and disrespectful and at worst contumelious and contemptuous”.

MONA stated last month in a statement that their lawyers were prepared to fight and take the matter to the Supreme Court if necessary.

More of The Latest


Sponsored Links


Share this article