Australia’s first Pride Centre opens in Victoria

By Our Reporter
Photo by Mercedes Mehling on Unsplash

Victoria is now home to Australia’s first purpose-built community hub for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and gender diverse, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ+) communities, with the opening of the landmark Victorian Pride Centre.

Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Equality Martin Foley on Monday (12 July) joined Victoria’s diverse LGBTIQ+ community to officially open this centre and announce the main date for Melbourne Pride 2021.

The Andrews Labor Government invested more than $25 million to deliver the centre, which will celebrate our LGBTIQ+ communities, honour their past, and support organisations and groups driving equality across the state.

The Labor Government is also investing $1.9 million to deliver Melbourne Pride 2021, which will be one of the most significant LGBTIQ+ events in Victoria’s history, an official press release said.

Marking the 40-year anniversary of the decriminalisation of sex between men in Victoria, Melbourne Pride will let Victorians show their support for LGBTIQ+ communities with activities across regional Victoria and a one-day street party in Melbourne’s inner north, which the Premier today announced would be held on Sunday 5 December.

From today at the centre, LGBTIQ+ communities can access inclusive services, connect with each other, celebrate who they are, learn about LGBTIQ+ history and appreciate LGBTIQ+ art and performances at the centre’s theatrette and gallery.

A range of deeply-trusted LGBTIQ+ organisations will be based at the centre, including health services, LGBTIQ+ media outlets, and others such as Minus18, the Australian GLBTIQ Multicultural Council, Transgender Victoria, Switchboard Victoria, Melbourne Queer Film Festival, Thorne Harbour Health and bookshop Hares and Hyenas.

The Australian Queer Archives will be based at the centre, enabling the public to have unprecedented access to its collection. The centre also includes a reflection room and other event, social and co-working spaces.

Designed by Brearley Architects and Urbanists and Grant Amon Architects, the centre is one of the largest purpose-built pride centres in the world, with the City of Port Phillip generously donating the land on which it stands.

The building is accompanied by a virtual Pride Centre. This online directory of LGBTIQ+ resources and events will support LGBTIQ+ people to celebrate who they are and connect with each other, wherever they are in the state.

Andrews said, “Everyone deserves to be supported and celebrated, and the Victorian Pride Centre is part of our ongoing efforts to ensure this is the case for LGBTIQ+ communities—because in Victoria, equality is not negotiable.”

Foley added, “This is a place where all LGBTIQ+ people and their supporters can get the services they need and be reminded that in Victoria, we have their backs.”

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