The conference began in 1991 as a one day meeting of students from universities around Sydney. Eventually QC expanded to its current format of a one-week national conference.
A challenge to the conference occurred in 2001 in Newcastle, when a political dispute caused the conference floor to split. Many of the delegates left the conference, and formed their own conference in a bar down the street.
The University of Wollongong were the 2010 hosts, defeating the Cross Campus Queer Network Western Australia 62-60 in the second round of voting after Monash Clayton was eliminated in the first round.
At Wollongong in 2010 the NUS Queer Officers were censured by the conference floor, this censure was to be read aloud at the next NUS conference floor however in a breach of their constitutional duty they have elected not to do so. NUS also failed to pass a motion restricting the NUS Queer Officer position to candidates who are queer.
At the 2012 conference, it was determined that a collective of several Sydney area universities would host the 2013 event. The Sydney universities were chosen in favour of a bid from Brisbane, who had also bid in the previous year.